I recently found an old newspaper clipping that I had saved. It was in my portfolio that I had amassed during my other life at the Work Place. The heading on it was "Look-And-See Signs of Aging". Here is what it said (more or less as I am not about to re-type the whole thing word for word):
1. Look in the fridge, freezer & drawers. Has food spoiled because mom can't get to the store? Does she have difficulty cleaning tight cluttered places?
2. Look at the grocery list. Has your loved ones declining health prompted them to purchas more convenience and junk food, neglecting proper nutrition?
3. Look up at fans & ceilings? Is there a grime build up from your loved one not being able to put their arms up there to clean?
4. Look down at floors & stairways. Have shaky hands spilled food & drinks soiling vinyl, wood & carpets? Are frayed throw rugs creating tripping hazards?
5. Look under sofas and beds? Is it crammed with newspapers & magazines because your senior is having difficulty organizing?
6. Look through the mail. Is mom's dementia causing her to forget to pay the bills?
7. Look on top of countertops & furniture. Are dust & dirt signs that household tasks are becoming more difficult for your parents?
8.Look at your seniors appearance. is clothing dirty and unkempt, and is your loved one neglecting personal hygiene?
Well Holy Smokes.
1 & 2: Yes, I HAVE been making purchases for convenience & neglecting proper nutrition. The only things IN my fridge are the expired things that used to be nutritious but have lost their redeeming value back in 2006. Most cartons found in my fridge have fuzzy green mold inside that says "Hello" when I open it. I keep them around because they have a better vocabulary than Old Fat Gladys. (the cat)
3. My ceiling fans are atrocious. Once a decade I will climb up, inspect the inches of dust, smile appreciatively and climb back down, leaving the dust & grim undisturbed. Much like a national monument, the dust on my ceiling fans demands quiet respect. I pay my respects and let it rest in peace.
4. My floors & stairways. The pink Pepto stain on the living room carpet refuses to come up. I've tried. The cat hair is permanantly ingrained into the stairs, especially in the hallway where she likes to sleep. Cat hair carpet is going to be the next big thing. You wait.
5. Don't look under my sofa. Especially don't look under my bed. And if you look under my bed don't look in the shoe box. Yes, it could be a fire hazard.
6. My mail. I haven't paid the bills either but it's just because there was no money to pay them with. They are laying there neatly waiting their turn. Someday I will get to them.
7. The dust & dirt on surfaces & countertops. That's just there because I'm lazy.
8. As far as my appearance. Hooo boy. The grubby sweatshirt is just something to wear when I'm not pretending to be June Cleaver. So are the blue flannel sock monkey pj pants. (This is the outfit I'm wearing right now actually, complete with blue slippers that need washed.)
So if you were all worried about me getting too old to take care of myself (31 is ancient) I want you to rest assured. I'm not old, I'm just lazy. And spend way too much time on this computer. But if you'd like to take pity on me & come help me around the house, that would be nice. I'll pay you a nice shiny nickel, if I can remember where in tarnation I put them....