Perhaps the lack of touch is one reason the elderly often ask to take someone's arm. They are not only concerned about falling; they enjoy the sense of physical closeness to another person, and it's an acceptable way to ask for it. If you are not comfortable just sitting and holding someone's hand, try touching their back when they go through a door or just touching their hand when you greet them and say goodbye.
Trying to think of a gift that might make a difference? Give a massage, a manicure or a pedicure. The greatest value may not be in the grooming but the touch. Or give a certificate to have these services performed. While not the hands of a friend or loved one, the touch is still valuable, not quite so personal but touch just the same.
About the authors: Fourteen girlhood friends now grown to middle age and facing an assortment of caretaking responsibilities collaborated to write this book about the challenge of caring for their elderly parents. The fourteen authors include a neurologist, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, an accountant, an artist, a counselor, educators and businesswomen.
Fourteen Friends (back to top)
- Joan Hunter Cooper, Dallas, Texas
- Judy Fulton Guerin, Paradise Valley, Arizona
- Joan Berkey Loftis, Arlington, Virginia
- Alice Beckley MacDonald, Herndon, Virginia
- Judy Sherwood McLeod, Charlottesville, Virginia
- Beth Sanders Milner, Middleburg, Virginia
- Lee Lambie Pope, Point Pleasant, New Jersey
- Anne Smith Roadman, Washington, D.C.
- Linda Gilbertson Rogers, Arlington, Virginia
- Karen Wulfsberg Strother, Lone Tree, Colorado
- Karen Kelley Thalinger, MD, Ponte Vedra, Florida
- Linda Staley Veatch, Oakton, Virginia
- Brenda Jones Viereg, Fairfax, Virginia
- Carol Cummings Warner, Washington, D.C.