Sometimes the people we love are magicians. They can wave their masterful wand and make us believe everything is as it should be. They can say a few hocus-pocuses and make sure the house is clean and a hot meal is on the table when we drop by. Sometimes, though, the magician will have difficulty sustaining the act. Sometimes, we need to be observant and proactive in order to insure just a little something magical continues to inhabit our loved ones’ lives.
Jenny came home for Easter weekend after not having seen her mom and dad since Christmas. They spoke on the phone several times a week, and mom and dad assured her everything was going well; so when Jenny arrived and a delicious meal was on the table, she was not particularly surprised. When she opened the refrigerator to put away some leftovers, however, she had a bit of a shock. The only things in the refrigerator were milk, a jar of olives, some cheese, and a few pudding cups, along with a six-pack of Ensure. Surely not all the ingredients in the house had gone into the meal they had just enjoyed!
Jenny decided to wait until the next day to talk to her folks about their meals and how often they were getting to the grocery store. In the meantime, she went into her mom’s bathroom to find some shampoo. What she found instead? Several empty containers of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, and a trash bag in the shower filled with used paper towels. Hmmm. Disconcerting. Her mom had always been fairly meticulous about her toiletries and her bathroom.
The next morning, Jenny asked her dad if he would ride to the store with her to make sure they got all the supplies he and her mom needed. Entering the garage, Jenny noted a small ding on the passenger side door. Everybody gets those. Someone probably opened their own car door into her dad’s. When her dad walked over to raise the garage door manually rather than use the remote opener, Jenny could see that one of the panels on the garage door had been dented. Everybody does not get those.
This summer, you may be traveling to visit your mom and/or dad. You may notice some things you hadn’t noticed before. You may find expired or spoiled food in the refrigerator. You may realize medications have not been refilled or have not been taken as prescribed. You may discover unpaid bills or checks that haven’t been deposited. Your folks may seem to have lost weight or may seem more confused than you’ve seen in the past.
All of these things are red flags. They don’t mean you have to hit the panic button, but they could very well mean you need to sit down and discuss some planning with your loved ones. What would make it easier and less stressful for them to have their nutrition, hydration, hygiene, and medications in order? What would make it safer for them to get to the grocery or the doctor? Are there groups they would enjoy for fitness/exercise classes? Are they continuing their regular social activities – church, literary clubs, service organizations?
At Timesavers, drop-ins to create a little magic are an everyday thing. Making sure Jenny’s parents have fresh groceries and meals prepared every week; making arrangements for safe transportation to appointments and meetings; checking out safety hazards in the home – all of these are things that magically make someone’s life better and help Jenny have peace of mind while she is 300 miles away.
Nothing replaces family, but family can’t be everywhere. So, if you notice a few things awry this summer, you won’t need a magic wand – just a phone with a magic number. Hocus-pocus, anyone?