Sunday, November 4, 2012

Helping Elderly Parents Succeed In Their Own Home: A Funny Story

A Little Humor Helps 

Keeping Elderly Parents In Their Own Homes 

I really am not sure how I am going to convey the humor is this post without shocking some of my loyal followers. The other evening I was at a party of a friend who invited her colleagues over,  all nurses and social workers who work with elderly residents in a nearby geriatric residence.

Keeping Dad In His Own Apartment 

Sitting in the living room in what developed into a women's circle of giddy gals, I began to talk about my dad. I start my story telling the group that dad is doing really well with a home health aide in his own apartment (which is located near me). The original plan ( a year ago) was a placement for dad  into a low income assisted living (further away from my home).

With a lot of hard work and persistence, I was able to qualify for a special program in my state,  designed to keep  older adults with dementia  out of nursing homes. This option seems to be working quite nicely.

Winning Dad's Heart

But here is where the fun begins. My 84 year old irritable, cranky, difficult dad has "fallen in love" (in fantasy)  with his caretaker, a woman who has managed to win his heart with her dedication and caring attention. (This is not  uncommon among elderly men).

Cutting Up Food In Bite Sized Pieces

Each morning she cuts up a prune danish into pieces and smears some cream cheese atop and presents the pastries on a plate with tooth picks in each piece to help my dad pick up the pieces easily (dad's hand shakes so badly he has trouble eating ).

Teasing Home Healthcare Aides

So back to the party where I am telling my story to the geriatric nurses and social workers.  I share with the healthcare party people how dad likes to tease his aide about getting married.  The banter continues as I tell the group how dad is always asking me to call before I pop in to his apartment unannounced.  The gals are getting silly and having a field day with the double entendres . "Oh, dad wants you to call before ..... hmmmm dad is flirting with his aide.......hmmmmm and on and on.

And then one of the nurses blurts out.....I think we have a case of PRUNE DANISH INTERRUPTUS

OMG......we were rolling over in laughter.

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro café. To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at Visit my website, Dianne is a member of: The American Society of Journalists and Authors The Society of Professional Journalists


  1. What state are you in? I'm trying to find a way to keep my mom in her home as well. I'm in NY but haven't found any program to help.

  2. You are so fortunate to have found a dedicated caretaker. I used an agency for my Dad, but out of all the ones that came only one was totally dependable. I never had to worry when she was scheduled. My Dad was in assisted living, but needed more help than they provided and I wanted to keep him out of a nursing home for as long as possible. He found himself a girlfriend. She was just a few years older than him, but they had a great time sitting on the front porch holding hands. I only wish Dad's Alzheimer's could have held off a little longer. It was nice while it lasted.

  3. Wow! This is totally great! I love reading your article. I have my grandparents at home, and your ideas seem to help. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful post!


  4. You know that a little romance is a good thing every now and then! He may have dementia, but he hasn't forgotten the finer things in life! I'll pray for him.