MORE OF LIFE’S UPS AND DOWNS….

Moving is a one of life’s biggest  challenges. About 2 weeks ago, I spent the week helping my daughter and family pack and prepare for the big move from the “big settlement” of Betel to a much smaller one down south. Right in the middle of that week I got a phone call which shook me up to the core…A good friend also from the “South” of this country  called to give me some hard news to hear…another mutual friend with whom we were all in youth group together from our teen days, an active person in varied organizations was quite suddenly discovered to have the “C” disease in a place for which she was about to have hours of surgery, reconstruction, have to undergo extensive therapies, etc…The modern age of “whatsapp” was enabling us friends to not only have a support group for her, be able to be informed of how she was doing but also to say Tehillim(psalms) together…

While packing, saying Tehillim, constantly looking and writing on the whatsapp…the end of that week brought more shocking, hard to hear news of two terrible terrorists attacks: the teen stabbed in her bed while sleeping and the very next day, the father of 10 killed…

Continuing to say Tehillim, dedicating shiurim in memory of and for Refuah Shlaima(a quick recovery of) …makes us feel like we are doing something to help….our friend writes that she gets strength from all of us whom she feels is surrounding her; not only do the families of those killed get strength from those coming to the shiva(mourning house) but they also give strength to those coming…we get strength from our friend….

Last week I went down South to visit my daughter and family in their beautiful new home; relieved to see the children happily playing with new friends which they had made instantly; I felt the sincere “Southern Hospitality” of the folks there welcoming a new family…A new start…hope…we must appreciate and dwell on the positives in life….

Tip for the Day:  When life looks down, look around…search for the good…it will put you in a better mood, then keep on going “up”(progress) as you should!

 

 

 

Life-changing Events Can Cause a Change in Us….

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Life goes on in a routine way and then suddenly, a big SHOCK….like losing a very close cousin who most of her almost 65 years was “full of life”…very active, in fact, the day before, playing and playing with her visiting Israeli grandchildren, running here and there, being the one to help and advise not only her 3 married children and grandchildren but also her husband who so recently was diagnosed with the dreaded “C”…one early morning, “here” still in bed saying good-by to her husband going out to early morning prayers, only a while later not being able to be awakened…As those of us far away got together to “mourn” and listen to a meaningful lesson in her memory, we realized that for her, it was a fast “good” death…for those left behind a terrible shock which is hard to come out of….

This causes viewing life through different “spectacles”…appreciating…

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Life-changing Events Can Cause a Change in Us….

Life goes on in a routine way and then suddenly, a big SHOCK….like losing a very close cousin who most of her almost 65 years was “full of life”…very active, in fact, the day before, playing and playing with her visiting Israeli grandchildren, running here and there, being the one to help and advise not only her 3 married children and grandchildren but also her husband who so recently was diagnosed with the dreaded “C”…one early morning, “here” still in bed saying good-by to her husband going out to early morning prayers, only a while later not being able to be awakened…As those of us far away got together to “mourn” and listen to a meaningful lesson in her memory, we realized that for her, it was a fast “good” death…for those left behind a terrible shock which is hard to come out of….

This causes viewing life through different “spectacles”…appreciating being with children/grandchildren even more; trying to get together not only with family but close friends whom we seem never to have time to see…Taking a better care of ourselves…it is a “coincidence” that while all of this has been happening, I who cannot swallow pills have been referred to a homeopath with a more “holistic” view in care…there “happened” to be a health seminar being offered which I have been participating in-it has given me a whole understanding on eating and living healthier!

Finally we can look at the positive characteristics of those who have “left” for a better place for them and try to incorporate these into ourselves….I am now trying to laugh, help, go with the flow, look at the positive, keep in touch with family and friends more…

As the Yiddish expression so aptly states, “man plans and G-d laughs”….we don’t know what’s in store, so I guess the best is to try to do is “more”…..

Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy Summer with much laughter,many reunions and meaningful life events…

Debbie Dan

Geriatric Consultant for Elderly Parents, Adult Children & Olim

Guidance about Living Options, & Community Resources

A Helping Hand with Debbie Dan

Israeli Cell: 052-391-9328

American Phone 347-448-4177

Email: debbiedan1@gmail.com 

Passover, A Time for Memories…..

This year I simply loved the Pesach(Passover) preparations with getting the house sparkling clean, not only getting rid of clutter but also finding many valuable items which we had forgotten existed as well as invaluable memory items-one of these was some “old fashioned” tapes; As I went walking this morning to rid myself of the many calories gained from this holiday, I listened on my also old fashioned walk man which I am thankful I had not thrown away. I picked the tape of an interview of me from 17 years ago by Liora Silverstein on the Arutz 7 “Aishet Chayil” show in honor of Senior Citizens Month in Israel.  I along with my colleague Bernie Shwartz spoke about Aging, Dementia, what happens to our memory and the many positive activities that can help retain our strengths….

Going out to clubs such as the Melabev Memory Club(being social as opposed to isolation which leads to depression), exercise(physical as well as mental) are examples of what can help maintain our minds as well as our bodies.  During this holiday vacation season is a good time to play those memory games with grandchildren(banana-grams, scrabble, lotto, those cards that have questions and answers on the back about the holiday, etc)

Tip of the Day:  Don’t despair if your memory seems lost; Just remember that you are the boss! You can reach back to days gone by, sharing memories with grandchildren will give you all a “high”!

Happy Holiday to y’all,

Debbie Dan

Geriatric Consultant for Elderly Parents, Adult Children & Olim

Guidance about Living Options, & Community Resources

A Helping Hand with Debbie Dan

Israeli Cell: 052-391-9328

American Phone 347-448-4177

Email: debbiedan1@gmail.com

SENIOR PLANNING FOR PESACH….

Now that we are in the rather intense Pesach(Passover) period, it is important to think about the role of our elderly parents/grandparents who are not up to par in the preparations….For those rather physically frail or mentally diminished with dementia, think of simple tasks for the festivities….for food preparations for the Passover Seder, they could be the “peeler,” the “singer”of old holiday songs while they are working or even the “story teller” of holidays gone by….They can be the “ear” for the gan(kindergarten) age children who have lots to say about their days at gan but perhaps their parents are too busy to listen….

Also when planning those holiday trips/tiyulim, don’t forget to think about easy perhaps even wheelchair accessible trails.  The “good outdoors” is great for all ages…

Tip of the day….keep your seniors in mind in any way……A very Happy Passover Preparations to one and y’all

Debbie Dan

Geriatric Consultant for Elderly Parents, Adult Children & Olim

Guidance about Living Options, & Community Resources

A Helping Hand with Debbie Dan

Israeli Cell: 052-391-9328

American Phone 347-448-4177

Email: debbiedan1@gmail.com 

Senior Planning for Pesach….

Now that we are in the rather intense Pesach(Passover) period, it is important to think about the role of our elderly parents/grandparents who are not up to par in the preparations….For those rather physically frail or mentally diminished with dementia, think of simple tasks for the festivities….for food preparations for the Passover Seder, they could be the “peeler,” the “singer”of old holiday songs while they are working or even the “story teller” of holidays gone by….They can be the “ear” for the gan(kindergarten) age children who have lots to say about their days at gan but perhaps their parents are too busy to listen….

Also when planning those holiday trips/tiyulim, don’t forget to think about easy perhaps even wheelchair accessible trails.  The “good outdoors” is great for all ages…

Tip of the day….keep your seniors in mind in any way……A very Happy Passover Preparations to one and y’all….

Debbie Dan

Geriatric Consultant for Elderly Parents, Adult Children & Olim

Guidance about Living Options, & Community Resources

A Helping Hand with Debbie Dan

Israeli Cell: 052-391-9328

American Phone 347-448-4177

Email: debbiedan1@gmail.com 

What a Week of “Divine Providence”…as well as examples of downs and ups in life…

The week began with the rather sad but not totally unexpected news of the death of a wonderful 97 year old “cousin-in-law’s”  mother who was relatively active and alert until close to the end of her amazing life. The funeral was to take place at the cemetery across the road from a long term care facility where one of our Betel seniors had been on a respirator for months; since the birth of a grandchild a month ago, I had not had time to visit as I was so busy helping children/grandchildren.  This gave me the opportunity to visit her. I was warned that her body was beginning to shut down and I realized it could be my last time with her(which it was). Although she was not really conscious, I felt we never really know what the soul absorbs so I reminisced with her about her life and my particular connection and appreciation of her…

While at the funeral I got more sad news of a very sudden death of the youngest son of one of my former Betel seniors; she, in her ’80’s, lost a son of 49…the funeral was to be in a few hours in the same place. After meeting a friend for lunch, I went back for such a hard, emotional hour-this mother wishing she could trade places with the son…

Feelings of sadness had to be let go for a wedding celebration(“Sheva Brachot”} of an “older” couple; also that same day was the “Siddur Party”of a first grade granddaughter receiving her first prayer book…Happy, proud, excited feelings….

Yesterday morning after receiving the wonderful news of our youngest son’s first child, an adorable baby girl(born after a relatively fast, easy birth!)…I got the sad news of the death of the Betel senior….the timing was so close that I just imagined one soul going upwards while a new soul was coming down; I was very thankful to have gotten the news of our 13th grandchild(a”baker’s dozen”) first….

As I return from the funeral of this 80 year old, I realize more than ever how we must be so grateful for all of the “ups” in life, appreciate and make the effort to participate in all of life’s celebrations………

Debbie Dan

Geriatric Consultant for Elderly Parents, Adult Children & Olim

Guidance about Living Options, & Community Resources

A Helping Hand with Debbie Dan

Israeli Cell: 052-391-9328

American Phone 347-448-4177

Email: debbiedan1@gmail.com 

 

 

 

 

Appreciating Life’s “Little” Miracles…..

I have just returned from helping our daughter and family after the birth of our 12th grandchild….her 6th(3rd boy), our 12th(we now have an “even tribe” of grandchildren….) While she was going through a rather difficult birth, I was home with the rest of the gang ranging in age from 10 and a half to almost 3….It’s a good thing that I am a “morning person,” able to get up early to prepare the mid-morning snacks, lunches, a bit of breakfast before sending them off to school and then walking up the hill to take the 4 year old to his “gan”along with the cute little “miss terrific  three  who returned home with me where we had “gan savta”(she is usually in “gan ima”)…while she took her morning nap, I tried to get the house in order, think about lunch, dinner, letting folks know about the birth and upcoming brit(circumcision ceremony)…I feel that G-d gives “koach”(energy, strength) to those who need it as I normally would never be on the “go” so much…

I take my hat off to my amazing son-in-law who without much sleep(being with his wife through the labor, birth and afterwards) came home late to help with kids, plan the Shabbat which included a “Shalom Zachor”(friends came over Friday night to welcome the new baby with song, a bit of learning and refreshments), plan the brit(lots of organization needed) plus going to his regular work….My daughter from her hospital bed as well as when she came home was the behind the scenes organizer of the family and events surrounding the baby…

My “job” as “HELPER” cannot be underestimated….they surprised me with a show of appreciation by a gift of much needed “massage” which so appreciatively relaxed my tense and somewhat achy bones…Now back at home, although I miss the growing family which is only a two hour trip away, I must admit to appreciating a bit of quiet and now being a bit pampered by the family left at home who I see are greatly appreciating my presence!

Not only has little Yehuda Simcha shown us the miracle of birth for both mother and baby but also the miracles of all that is surrounding it-simply being able to do and accomplish all that needs to be done! We are all very thankful(the name Yehuda means “thank”) and are full of happiness(Simcha)…TIP for the day….appreciate all of life’s miracles, little and big that come your way!

Feeling “burnt out”? Appreciate the new and different…

Now that we are in a new year, it is time to look forward to the “new” in our lives….Last week my husband and I went on a much needed short vacation to Eilat where we had not been in 15 years…after the pressures of holiday baking(my husband is the “famous” Herby of Herby’s Bake Shop), it was wonderful to leave the very cold Betel weather and in just 35 minutes fly to the warm sunny skies of Eilat where we were able to walk on flat streets(after those huge hotel breakfasts!), go to some of the tourist sites to which new attractions had been added since we were last there, just relax and not rush as in regular routines in our lives.(Even as a pensioner, I am constantly on the “go” to various activities as classes, volunteer work, babysitting as well as geriatric counseling!)

Getting away a bit, relaxing, etc allows time for reflections, appreciation of family and good friends(especially of our children who kept the bakery going allowing us this vacation), thinking about what else we want to do in our lives….for example, after hearing that learning to play a musical instrument is especially good for the brain, I am seriously thinking of getting a small electrical piano and taking some lessons(maybe along with a grandchild!) Before that, I will be helping our children who are expecting our new grandchildren, “b’shaa tova”(it should all go well).

So my tip for you today is to go out and search for the “new” in life to give “koach”(strength) to prevent that “burnt out” feeling….