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Ancestors are more than old photographs buried in a box. They’re often people who are still alive. They are elderly men and women who are living out their lives either in their own home or in an assisted living facility.

Unfortunately, some of these people are often forgotten about.

This “New Blog Of The Week” (NBOTW) blog author calls elderly individuals “Golden Oldies”. She writes about a subject we don’t want to talk about, and may prefer not to read. But someday, we will either end up taking care of our parents and/or deal with their death (or both).

This blogger dares to write about issues she sees arising each time she visits her 99 year old mother in an assisted living facility.

In her post titled, “Children Always Welcome Here”

Some Golden Oldies don’t have visits from their adult children once they are settled in their assisted living facility! A very sad fact of life. The children take care of their parents’ physical and financial needs, but are just “too busy” to visit regularly.

Too busy to visit their own parents? How sad is that? Can you imagine being in an old folks home, often left there to die, with no visits from the family members you spent your whole life caring for? Is that how children show their gratitude?

In an attempt to remain self sufficient, many elders prefer to remain in their home, taking care of each other during the final years of their lives. For children of aging parents, this blogger shares hints and tips (in a two part series) for “creating a safety net”. One of the things she mentioned is”

Have an extra set of keys made for your parents’ home and car for you to keep.

In the event of an emergency, time wasted trying to gain access to their home could be the difference between life and death.

Although her blog covers serious subjects, in her series named ” Is It Better To Laugh Than Cry?” she shares funny stories and jokes. Being a care giver is hard work. Breaks are often needed and laughter is a great way to release pent up emotions.

This NBOTW found me on the day she published her first post. I have followed her blog ever since.

You’ve seen her comments on nearly every post.

Her name is Linda Abbit, and her blog is Tender Loving Elder Care

Join me in congratulating Linda on her “New Blog Of the Week” (NBOTW) title.

Best wishes, Linda. Thank you for being an advocate for the “Golden Oldies”.


Photo Credit: My archives. My grandmother and a friend

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  1. These are great issues to talk about. I think children should visit their parents regularly as their aging. We owe our parents so much. Sounds like a meaningful blog.

    Bamboo Forest’s last blog post..What’s The True Value of Blog Comments?

  2. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    I appreciate Linda’s blog too. I was very close to my grandmother and have always seemed to gravitate toward the older population.

    In my late highschool days I worked weekends in a retirement home in their front office. I’d play pool with some of the residents on my breaks and one of the women would come down to chat regularly. I looked forward to her visits.

    I had coffee with a friend over the weekend who is a homecare nurse and she says they have a lot to teach us. For one thing, they’ve taught her patience and to slow down and appreciate life as it passes. Very wise advice.

  3. It is such a shame how the older generation is often overlooked nowadays, Barbara.

    There is much to be learned from our elders, who have walked the walk of wisdom before us. In my opinion, we miss out on much when we don’t draw on their experiences.

    I know an elderly couple very well and thoroughly enjoy listening to their stories of years gone by. It’s history come to life, and it’s so enlightening.

    Yet, it’s also a two way process… they are amazed when I tell them about modern life! Somewhere in the middle comes an interesting combination of old and new perspectives.

    It’s great that Linda is celebrating the realism of being older in her blog. There will be, I’m sure, a rich vein of ideas to draw upon.

  4. Sunil PathakNo Gravatar says:

    Well one thing that I love most about my country (India) is that we still stay with our parents (even after getting marry) we believe in Joint Family and the senior most male is the head of the family his word is command for every member of the family. That’s the old tradition of Indian community (And I love it) I never understood why Americans abandon their parent’s home after mirage?

    Sunil Pathak’s last blog post..4 Link Baiting Ideas That Works Like A Charm

  5. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Linda has a wonderful blog! In fact, the first couple of times I visited, I was thinking – does this really apply to me? Can I really learn something new, when in fact, my parents haven’t yet reached the age where they are in assisted living? You know what, what I have been finding over and over again, is that yes, this does apply to me. I’ve had grandparents who have reached old age. I know others who are in assisted living. And, in reality, it’s not that far down the road before my parents may require extra care. And, I really think that there are life lessons to be learned here that apply to just plain our life in general, not only in dealing with the “golden oldies”.

    Linda provides a breath of fresh air for those entering their golden years, and for those of us who love them.

    You have made an excellent choice, Barbara, for NBOTW!!

  6. Al at 7PNo Gravatar says:

    Great concept for a blog. I like her recent article about TV watching and the elderly. Thanks for the NBOW!

    Al at 7P’s last blog post..Do You Know What You Don’t Know?

  7. Hello Linda :)

    I will head over to your site. We have a small issue with my aging grandparents. We all love them so much but they are so ungrateful for nearly everything we do and do nothing but complain.

    They say how it’s too hot to go outside and they have no one to visit with or have any friends. My parent go to their house 2 to 3 times a week and have offered to get them enrolled in the YMCA where there’s a senior’s club.

    Nope. “I don’t want to hang around those jerks! I need money.”

    She even left a message on my mother’s answering machine last father’s day which my wife and I heard while my parents were out back in the pool (I was visiting my father for father’s day). She said how my mom should be ashamed of herself for not visiting her father and that my wife and I still had plenty of other father’s days to visit so instead, she should be spending the day at my grandparents.

    Sorry….think I’m using Barbara’s blog to rant. Oh, it feels good! hehehe

    Anyway, I’m off to see if you have any tips for me!

  8. Writer DadNo Gravatar says:

    Linda has a wonderful, wonderful blog. I found it last week, I think through Momgrind. She’s blogging about an issue that needs a lot of attention, and will only grow as pages continue to fall from the calendar. I lost my Papí on June 22 of this year. He was ninety-nine, and the most amazing man I ever knew. I visited him every Saturday for three years. I love him and miss him. He was truly, one of a kind, and funny ’till the very end.

  9. JayNo Gravatar says:

    This is an issue which needs addressing. I strongly believe that one reason there is so much crime against the vulnerable, including the elderly, is that we have allowed our children to become divorced from the reality of ageing and frailty. They don’t see the elderly as Grandma and Grandpa any more, they’re simple old folks who get in the way and take up space – and who often have more money than they do so why not steal it? My own mother has surprised a young man in her kitchen, who just waltzed in to see what he could find. Didn’t expect the old lady to be coming after him with her Zimmer frame, that’s for sure! Luckily he fled. And we lectured her.

    I aim to keep my Mum in her own home for as long as possible. Sadly I live too far away to visit very frequently, but my brother and step-sister are there for her – and so are their kids.

    Will pop over and visit this blog!

  10. Ellen WilsonNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    Man, this is so sad. Thanks for bringing this up. I have so many feelings about this I don’t know where to start.

    I wish old people weren’t ware housed together like cattle. It’s just so wrong. How sad if no one ever visits you again? Why should we pretend that mortality is bad? Something we shouldn’t think about?

    And thanks, Linda. I’m subscribing. I know I can learn many good things from you. I haven’t had to deal with this issue yet, but like everyone else here, someday I will.

  11. You can just tell from Linda’s blog and her comments elsewhere what a warm and caring person she is, and courageous too for bringing this issue to the blogosphere! Good choice Barbara.

  12. Linda AbbitNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    I am happy dancing all around my house! Woo Hoo! Thank you so very much for this honor. I am thrilled! I feel like Sally Field getting her Oscar that year and exclaiming, “You like me! You really like me!” :-) I am deeply touched by being selected, and by all of your comments!

    @ Bamboo Forest – I’m glad you understand what I’m saying about visiting. I don’t feel I could ever thank my folks enough for giving me such a wonderful life, but by starting this blog maybe I am doing it in a different way. And I’ll be checking out your newest post about comments soon! Thanks.

    @ Davina – Thank you! I think some people are born to connect with Golden Oldies (you), and some of us learn through life to connect and cherish them (me). As long as we get there, that’s what counts. Now I want to bring that message of appreciation to a larger part of society.

    @ Scott McIntyre – Thank you, Scott! You remind me of the day I took my Mom and Dad’s photos on my cell phone for the first time and showed it to them. They just laughed, and shook their heads — not sure they really “got” it, but it was fun to do.
    Looking forward to reading your blog when you give birth to it!

    @ Sunil Pathak – Thank you for sharing your customs with us – learning “first hand” about other cultures is an added bonus I get from blogging. I think in the US, famliies used to live at least closer to each other, so while the generations didn’t all live together in the same house, at least they lived in the same town or county. Modern times have changed that, and I’m not sure why. Excellent point!

    @ Lance — Thank you for your kind words! I’m blushing!

    @ Al at 7P – Thank you, too. Lots more to come on the TV issue, so stay tuned. I’m intrigued by your name . . . will have to investigate!

    @ John Hoff — Glad you could rant. It’s definitely healthy and necessary! I’m sorry about your grandparents and how they’re affecting your family. There are many tough issues I have yet to cover in my blog, and dealing with Golden Oldies that aren’t so “golden” is one of them. You and your parents are not alone. Sigh. Hang in there for now & thanks!

    @ Writer Dad — Thanks for your sweet words and for sharing about your Papi. You’re obviously a “chip off the old block” based on the loving words here and the tribute you shared with me from your blog previously.

    @ Jay — How frightening for your mother to go through! Good thing she has both of her sons looking after her, both near and afar. You’ll see from my blog that I agree with you on several of your points. You’re doing a great job caregiving long distance Jay — another topic on my list to write about. (I’m assuming a Zimmer frame is a gun or weapon? 😉 Fun to learn new words by blogging — another bonus!)

    @ Barbara — OK, as usual I have another newbie blogger question for you. Even though it’s off-topic for my blog, should I put up a short post about being chosen as NBOTW on TLeC? I want to shout it from the rooftops, but maybe I should keep my yelling off line, since some readers (unlike from BWAB), won’t know what the heck I’m talking about if they happen to read that post as the first one they see on my blog. Hope my question makes sense — I’m kinda in a tizzy 😉

  13. SpaceAgeSageNo Gravatar says:

    I found Linda’s blog a few weeks ago and absolutely love her approach.

    Yes, Ellen, people do tend to warehouse their elderly, and yes, John, the elderly are not always easy to relate to.

    My mom lives with my husband and I. She is physically active, but her short term memory is pretty-much shot, unable sometimes to remember things as short as 15 seconds before. I have to lock up household chemicals because she reaches for a bottle and by the time it is in her hand, she has jumped over the need to check to see what it is, and starts cleaning with it. Every other day she comes up to me at my computer to ask for help “with this damn phone.” She will be holding her TV remote.

    It’s not like this all the time, but it is frequent and only expected to worsen.

    I don’t write this for sympathy, but to let you know all this has made my husband and I so much stronger of heart. We have learned to adjust and apply humor when needed. It started out heart-wrenching and overwhelming, but now, with God’s help, my husband and I have come through to where this craziness is normal, workable, and no one pulls their hair out anymore. It is not a path of personal growth that I recommend for everyone, but it has been more meaningful and rewarding than I could have imagined.

    SpaceAgeSage’s last blog post..Mindsets can be set or set to change

  14. SpaceAgeSageNo Gravatar says:

    Oops… messed up with editor.. .

  15. chrisNo Gravatar says:

    One of the main reasons we have somhow lost our ways in this country is because our disconnect with our elder citizens. In different cultures, the elderly occupy a special and respected position in society. Unfortunately we end up pushing our golden oldies aside into nursing homes and assisted living apartments.

  16. AnnieNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara –

    Thanks so much for sharing Linda’s blog. What a special thing.

    We went through this with my grandma after she had a stroke and could no longer live alone. She spent almost 10 years in care homes. Some were a good experience and some just weren’t. Although the care home she was in originally was a 10 minute drive from our house, the last one she was in before she passed away in 2005 was 80 miles away. We did visit her as often as possible and tried to get up there at least once a week.

    I remember seeing other folks who had no one. Even then, I thought it was such a shame. Like someone else mentioned, these great folks not only have a lot to teach us, but they spent their lives caring for us and this is how they are repaid? Incredible. I cannot even fathom leaving my grandma in a home like and never visiting. I couldn’t live with myself. 😉 I’m so glad we always made the effort to visit her every chance we got now that she’s gone.

    ~ Annie

  17. VeredNo Gravatar says:

    I love Linda’s blog. Her post “the roller coaster of my life” brought tears to my eyes.

  18. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Everyone,

    It makes me happy you all liked my choice. And Linda, thank you so much for addressing the comments. Again, that shows the readers what a kind and giving person you are.

    For those of you who have Golden Oldies in your lives, it’s important to remember they, too, are people. Although they may be inflicted with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, consider what the alternative means. You lose them. I won’t go into detail, but I lost both of my parents. The days, weeks and months that followed were the darkest in my life.

    Treasure each and every moment with your elders. Let your children get to know them. Create memories. Take lots of pictures and/or videos. Interview them on audio. Have fun! Listen to them! They have lots of wisdom to share. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be here. Show them your gratitude and love.

    The day will come when they’re gone. Don’t be saying, “I wish I had………”

    Linda,

    With regard to your question about a post on your site, that’s strictly up to you.

    P.S. I see a lot of inspiration (for future posts on your blog) in the words the readers have shared. :)

  19. Ellen WilsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I have to say this blog post was the impetus to get me to call the Hospice service in my area and get the ball rolling to become a volunteer. Something I have wanted to do for a long time.

    I hope that our culture’s ideas of warehousing the elderly, and death and dying will change. We will all die someday. We might not get old, but we will all die.

    My grandma was in a home for a long time and my dad urged me not to visit her because she was not herself, he said. She had a lot of strokes. I know he wanted to protect me, he wanted me to remember her as she was. To this day I feel guilty and ashamed that I never visited her in the nursing home.

  20. Barbara,
    The NBOTW is a blog with a difference. I went through a couple of posts there and it made me think a while about what I could better for my aging mother.

    Reallly, a simple blog that stands out – and let the typical MMO, SEO stuff take a break!

    Regards,
    Ajith

    Ajith Edassery’s last blog post..Skribit Review – Get rid of writer’s block

  21. RitaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    Once again, you got to me. Having lost both parents WAY too early, how I would love to have such “problems” to deal with.

    I guess it’s a true case of “the grass is always greener…”

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

    Rita

  22. Dr. CasonNo Gravatar says:

    Congratulations Linda!

    The elder population is often forgotten. We’ll all -hopefully- reach that spot one day and pray that someone as loving as yourself will be there to remember us!

    Dr. Cason’s last blog post..Garlic and Ginger Mashed Potatoes

  23. T EdwardsNo Gravatar says:

    I can completely relate to this post as my wife and I have recently (over the last couple of years) had to increase our care for my grand parents. How dare an ingrate toss their loved ones to Retirement Center Dogs! One need always remember…God willing, childhood comes TWICE.

    Thank you for this post

    T

  24. It is interesting/sad that now that I have questions to ask my grandmothers (both strong, wonderful influences in my life), they are gone. We often don’t think to draw on the wisdom of the elderly until it’s too late. I imagine in the next 10 years I will be facing concerns about my parents’ care. I find Linda’s blog very insightful.

    Urban Panther’s last blog post..Yep, tastes good

  25. Linda AbbitNo Gravatar says:

    @ Ellen Wilson and @ Ellen Wilson :-) — Don’t despair over not being able to be with your Grandma. I’m sure your Dad was protecting you in keeping you away. I’m struggling with this question in my own situation with my son who’s heading back to college shortly & my Mom’s recent decline. It’s hard to know what to do and I don’t know if there’s a “right” answer in this situation. However, I can tell from your photo that your kind face will bring joy and TLC to many Golden Oldies through your hospice volunteering. Good for you in taking this step! Thanks for subscribing, too.

    @ Ann at One Bag Nation — Thank you for your kind words!

    @ SpaceAgeSage — Thank you for sharing your cargiving “bio” and Mom story with us. It sounds like you and your husband have figured things out for now and are coping well. I love your expression “stronger of heart” in describing your growth, and yes it is more meaningful and rewarding than I ever anticipated.

    @ Chris – I agree re the generations being unconnected and that being a huge negative in our society. But sometimes it’s the Golden Oldies who don’t want to “impose” on their children and choose to live apart. Just another perspective.

    @ Annie – Thanks for telling us your Grandma’s story. You’re absolutely right, facilities do vary from one to another, despite licensing requirements. More posts to come on this topic, too. I’m sure your families’ visits with her are cherished memories.

    @ Vered — You’re too sweet! Thank you. [blushing]

    @ Barbara – I meant to remark about the beautiful family photo you shared with us here!! I love it! Do you know what year it was taken? Which one is your grandmother?? And when do we get to see your photo? 😉 I agree on there being much food for thought here for future TLeC posts! Thanks, everyone!

    @ Rita — It’s never easy losing a parent(s), no matter what their age or what the circumstances.

    @ Dr. Cason — Thanks! Yes, may we all be so lucky!

    @ T Edwards — I never heard that expression before, but it sure hits the nail on the head. Where did you hear or read it? Thank you for sharing it here.

    @ Urban Panther — Thank you! I wish I had asked my Mom a zillion things when we realized she was first having some memory problems (and wrote them down or recorded them, b/c my memories may fade with time too, dementia or not). Now it’s too late. :-(

  26. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi All,

    Thank you all for supporting Linda, her blog and what she’s trying to accomplish. This post certainly brought a lot of issues to the surface, and like with Ellen, inspired her to call the Hospice service in here area. That warms my heart!

    Hi Rita,

    I hear you, and empathize with you. It’s not easy losing our parents. It’s a loss that never leaves us.

    Hi T. Edwards,

    Welcome to the BWAB community. As you know, I was on your blog earlier today and thoroughly enjoyed reading your writings. I will be back. :)

    Hi Linda,

    My grandmother is the one on the left. We believe the photo was taken around 1920.

    My photo? That will be coming soon. :)

  27. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Great blog…… I know a hospice nurse and the stories she tells me just break my heart. How we as a society treat our elderly is absolutely appalling! Tender loving care and a visit does more than folks realize and will hold them for more than a couple of days if they know you are coming back! Just pick up the phone and say hello. Thanks for sharing!

  28. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ajith,

    Welcome to the BWAB community. I’m so happy you landed on today’s post. On Tuesdays I showcase a new blogger (less than 4 months old) and Linda is my choice for today (and the week).

    Yes, your right, I normally don’t use SEO in my blog posts.

    I’ll be over to check out your blog soon.

    Hi Linda,

    I’m guessing Linda Abbit will be by later to respond to your comment, as well. :)

  29. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    sounds like a great blog Barbara, will stop over for a visit. Sounds like a blog I can get tips from, I have extra set of keys for everything. I don’t understand how kids get too busy to take care of their elderly parents, but that’s another story. Thanks for sharing, as usual. 😉

  30. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Barbara – great post, pic and NBOTW.

    My Mom recently told me how she liked to ride horses when she was young. It surprised me because I forgot my Mom used to be a little girl. I wonder how much more I would know about my parents if they had blogs and YouTube when they were kids.

  31. Barbara –

    I agree with Sunil as we both are Indians. If I lived in India, I’d have lived with my parents without a doubt. Life is too short and it is shame if we forget the gratitude of those who nurtured us and enable us to become who we are today. I love my dad and mom and for them I will do anything.

    Shilpan

  32. Linda AbbitNo Gravatar says:

    @ Ajith — Sorry I didn’t reply earlier — your comment just showed up! Oh the joys of technology!! I’m glad some of my posts gave you food for thought — thanks & hope to see you here and at TLeC again! Welcome times two!

    @ Linda — Thank you for re-enforcing what I believe to be true with your hospice nurse’s observations. Sometimes just a smile or kind word and a squeeze of a hand can make a Golden Oldie’s day!

    @ Natural — I don’t understand either how anyone is “too busy” to care for the ones they love, whether it be parents, children, siblings, or extended family. Sounds like you have a head start on preparing for the future by the simple act of having a second set of keys handy “just in case.”

    @ J.D. Meier — You are a smart one! Start videotaping questions and answers with your parents now. Not necessarily putting them on YouTube, but save it as a way to archive your family history. Maybe you can all start at family blog as a way of record keeping (Note to self — do that!). I know a woman named Barbara Swafford who is great at helping people start blogs! Oh, you know her, too! 😉

    @ Barbara — Your Grandmother looks like a very classy lady with her beads and coiffed (sp?) hairdo! I’m sure she’d be very proud of you! btw, I’m named after my mother’s mother Anna Leah (my full name is Linda Anne) who died 9 months before my parents adopted me. My Mom always believed (as do I) that she “arranged” it for us!

    @ Shilpan — I agree – Life is short and cherishing our elders is part of what really matters in life. Thanks!

  33. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, it is so nice of you to help promote a site with a difference. You are right – many blogs are about young families and kids and there are few about the elderly. I’d be checking out the site! Thanks!

    Evelyn

  34. Linda AbbitNo Gravatar says:

    @ Evelyn – – I look forward to your visit!

    Have a great day everyone! Thanks again for all of your thoughtful comments!

  35. It saddens me to see how cruel the human can be. Once he needed his parents for every single action, then when they need him he dumps them at some old folks home. Cruel.

    Congrats on being chosen as the NBOTW Linda, heading over to your blog right now

    Rajaie AlKorani’s last blog post..How To Effectively Deal With Negative Comments On Your Blog

  36. Linda AbbitNo Gravatar says:

    @ Rajaie — Thanks and I hope you like what you read at my blog!

  37. […] On Tuesday my blog received the honor of being selected as “New Blog of the Week” by Barbara Swafford of Blogging Without A Blog (BWAB)! On a weekly basis, Barbara selects one blog that is less than four months old and highlights it on her blog. You can read the lovely compliments she paid me here. […]