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Author: Tracy Carpenter, BSW, LSW

Top Ten Dad Memories

Top Ten Favorite Dad Memories of LifeSpan Employees

10. “Growing up my dad could recite every episode of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ while nailing the perfect Barney Fife impression.”

9. “My Dad used to referee high school football games in these very small rural towns in Nebraska. Many of the football fields were pastures and he was always stepping and slipping in cow poop!”

8. “When I was a teenager going through a bit of an attitude stage my dad would sing a song he made up: ‘Oh no….Not me….Bernie doesn’t know what to say or do…because oh yes….it’s true….Catherine’s got a bit of CATtitude!’ (My name is Catherine, but I go by Cat). I would hate it but I also couldn’t help but laugh and lose my attitude or my CATtitude.”

7. “My dad used to like to bark like a dog and whistle like a train in our favorite pizza joint in public to ‘How Much is That Doggy in the Window’.”

6. “I have fond memories of my dad breaking into a very awkward ‘Macarena’ dance in front of my friends (and botching the lyrics quite badly).”

5. “While in college, my dad wanted to make sure I had a piece of Wisconsin with me at Christmas time so he would cut down a pine tree and mail it to me in Oxford.”

4. “My dad used to like to come out sporting my mom’s wig when we had company just for fun.”

3. “My dad signed a thank you card to me as ‘Patrick Kelley’ and I was like, Dad, I know who you are. No need to sign your full name….”

2. “One Christmas Eve (dad was Santa for over 40 years), my dad had to walk a horse for approximately. 1 – 2 miles to a home in his Santa suit that included a hairpiece and wig which was always falling in his eyes so could hardly see at times. Dad grew up in the inner city of Philadelphia and had never been near a horse. But there he was, walking that horse uphill in below zero temperatures talking to this horse the whole way asking him to behave and not poop on him! I was right there with him!”

1. “My favorite thing to do when I was really little was pick out the lint of my dad’s belly button.”

 

Thank you for joining us for the third installment of our new venture, In the Loop with LifeSpan. LifeSpan strives to highlight our commonalities while celebrating our differences throughout our community, and we trust that this blog will be an extension of that mission.

Regardless of whether you feel in the loop or perhaps out of it like our name suggests, LifeSpan strives to meet you where you are at, serving people at all points in the span of life.

Tracy Carpenter, BSW, LSW

Phone: (513) 868-9281
Toll-Free: (888) 597-2751

Welcome to In the Loop with LifeSpan!

It is hard to stay in the loop these days. Politics, sports teams, Hollywood gossip. And let’s face it. How can anyone define the loop, let alone stay in it, when so many times we can’t agree on something as simple as the weather? However, in all of the chaos and disorganization we may find ourselves in, we can learn a lot about ourselves in the loops we come across in our everyday lives.

As children, we find self-determination in the loop of a shoestring, learning to tie through song and rhyme. As teenagers, we may find accomplishment in the loop of our tassels as we move them from the right side to the left of our graduation caps, inspired to change the world. We may find courage in the loop of a fastened belt as we prepare for our very first job interviews. Some of us may find commitment in the loop of our wedding bands. We may find excitement in the loops of keyrings that will open doors to our newly purchased homes. Over time, we may find selflessness and unconditional love in the loop of our children’s teething rings and choo-choo train tracks. And near the end of our journey, we will find self-reflection in the loop of a signature, solidifying our final wishes.

If we are lucky, these loops will teach us something. If we are even luckier, we will stumble across second chances in the unexpected loopholes along the way.

We invite you to join us in our new venture, In the Loop with LifeSpan. LifeSpan strives to highlight our commonalities while celebrating our differences throughout our community, and we trust that this blog will be an extension of that mission.

Regardless of whether you feel in the loop or perhaps out of it like our name suggests, LifeSpan strives to meet you where you are at, serving people at all points in the span of life.

So, hop on the LifeSpan rollercoaster. Let’s experience the highs, the lows, the sudden drops, and of course, the loops, together.

Our Veteran, Ernest

The Elderly Services Program is honored to serve our military veterans, including our featured client Ernest White. At 95 years old, Mr. White, a twenty-six year Navy Seal officer, has been with Elderly Services since 2011. With the assistance of his lifeline button provided by the program, he has the peace of mind and reassurance to live a full, independent life.

Our country is enriched by the lives our war veterans live and the legacies they will leave behind. To learn about our nation’s past, we must take advantage of present opportunities to learn. We consider one of these opportunities to be in the life of Mr. White. He apologized for being slow on his walker, and though his body stalled, he later proved that his mind persisted.

Mr. White says he is a very fortunate man. As the holder of a doctorate degree, he is thankful to the naval academy for his college education. In 1939, Mr. White took office as a midshipman, and came aboard the US Louisville C 28 in June 1942, six months after the infamous Pearl Harbor attack. Along with 1100 others, he spent 28 months “island hopping” across the Pacific Ocean. From his first combat only six days aboard the ship, to patrolling the Lucian Islands, to the Battle of Guadalcanal, to the unforeseen attack that left the ship “damaged, but not lost”, Mr. White shared his experiences with chronological precision.

As the unforeseen attack left the US Louisville, time has left many our war veterans. Though age may have left them damaged in some way, they certainly are not lost. In fact, we need their stories so that the future of our country can be found. And we at Elderly Services are grateful to Mr. White and the other military veterans we serve for their stories and their sacrifices. Mr. White says he is a fortunate man, but we are the fortunate ones for knowing them.

Elderly Services Program provides Butler County residents with home-based services that can assist with aging-related challenges and help to ensure continued independence.

 

Carol’s Success

Carol Browne was livinCarol with Lorig in Boston, working a high-pressure job. Her two brothers were living in Michigan, and Massachusetts, each with families and growing careers of their own. Their mother had passed away several years earlier, and their father was living alone in his split-level home in Cincinnati. One night, Carol received a phone call that changed everything. The call was from her father, he was having severe chest pains. Carol advised her father to hang up and call 911.

In the moments following that phone call, Carol was overcome with worry and uncertainty. Had her father been able to make the phone call? Had the ambulance arrived in time? Had he suffered a heart attack? Had he been taken to the hospital? Had he been admitted? If so, to which hospital? There were so many unknowns! Feeling very alone and helpless, she began placing calls to area hospitals and doctor’s offices; trying desperately to piece together what had happened to her father. The stress of this situation was Carol’s breaking point. Something needed to change…there had to be a better way.

Carol and her brothers, living so far away, quickly realized they were unable to provide their father with the care that he needed. It was Carol’s brother who suggested LifeSpan’s Family Connection program, after coming across a radio interview about the program.

When Carol and her brothers initially looked into Family Connection, they felt that the cost was too much for them to bear, so they attempted to try and do everything on their own. “This was a naive assumption on our part,” Carol said. “After realizing we were in over our heads we decided to give Family Connection a try.” With that, Lori Rehm was appointed to be Mr. Browne’s care manager.

LifeSpan’s Family Connection program provided Carol’s family with a knowledgeable care manager, one with medical expertise, who could come in and accurately assess their father and his needs. She could communicate effectively with nurses, doctors, hospital staff, and others to advocate for him. She was then able to give accurate feedback, diagnoses, and information about their father’s health and well-being back to his children. Mr. Browne’s care manager, Lori, was there to help work through any type of “crisis.”

The care manager sent monthly reports to the family members. She always sent feedback from doctor’s visits, phrased in ways that the family could understand. If their father was ever in a crisis situation, she would let the family know. They felt prepared knowing that they already had a solution and plan in place. “I felt confident that Lori had everything under control with Dad,” Carol said.

“My brothers and I appreciated Lori keeping us informed and updated if, and when, there was an emergency.” As his care manager, Lori shared with them questions and answers their father had for the doctors and asked questions on their behalf. She kept them informed about what hospital or care facility he was going to. She worked with each facility on his behalf and developed and implemented a care plan for and following his discharge.

“In nightmare situations, Lori saved us countless times. We are eternally grateful to her,” Carol said. One such situation occurred when Mr. Brown suffered a fall that resulted in a broken hip. “It was this situation that forced him to make a decision between physical therapy and a nursing home. Dad initially refused both, assuming he could afford to pay a private duty nurse for 24-hour care, in his home. However, that was not the case and would have rapidly depleted his resources. It was Lori who worked tirelessly for and with dad to get him into a nursing home,” reflected Carol.

The move did occur; there were issues with the first placement and Mr. Browne was not happy. Lori, worked diligently, and soon found and arranged for him to be transferred to the new facility.

Ultimately, Family Connection was the most cost-effective way for their father to stay in his home, for as long as he could, but the care did not stop there. Lori continued to check in with Mr. Browne while he lived in the nursing home. She made it a point to stop in at various times, without formally scheduling appointments, in order to really see how he was doing throughout the day. Because of this, Lori discovered that the staff was waking him at 2 am to bathe, and she immediately put an end to that. Lori kept watch over their father, noticing and attending to things they would never have caught.

Lori acknowledged their father as Mr. Browne, as a sign of respect, and often referred to him as “Chairman of the Board,” a running joke among their family. This too added to their comfort and appreciation of their relationship. Lori worked as Mr. Browne’s Care Manager for nine years until his passing.

“Family Connection provided care for Dad and peace of mind for our family,” Carol said. “And the peace of mind was critical.”