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Our Mother’s Day Gift: Mom’s Wisdom

Happy Mother’s Day!

In anticipation of Mother’s Day, we asked our Care Haven moms for help with a special present. We hoped they’d be willing to pass their collective wisdom to the next generations of moms.

Without hesitation, they jumped right in with their insights.

Reflections from our moms on Mother’s Day

We detected some common themes as our residents looked back on motherhood this Mother’s Day. Most suggested that new moms should:

  1. Teach children to
    • Be kind.
    • Work hard.
    • Tell the truth and take responsibility.
    • Take care of themselves.
    • Treat everyone with respect.
    • Help others, especially friends and family.
  2. As a parent,
    • Be prepared for anything!
    • Shower kids with love and affection.
    • Cherish the moment — they grow up fast!
    • Listen.
    • Welcome your children’s friends.
    • Do your best to make the most of every situation, and focus on the positive.
    • You’ll make mistakes, so learn to forgive yourself. Take comfort knowing that children are resilient. And tomorrow is a new day!
  3. Also, don’t forget to take care of yourself.
    • Surround yourself with people you love.
    • Be open to new things.
    • Relax, live, love and laugh.
    • And, finally, get some sleep.

Nearly all our mothers agree: new moms MUST sleep while baby sleeps. You’re a better mom when you rest!

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Maxine

Be kind

  • What is your favorite part about being a mom? Every part — I love being a mom!
  • What is a lesson you always taught your children? Be kind and help each other out.

Mary

Enjoy the moment

  • What is your favorite part about being a mom? My children and grandchildren
  • What is a lesson you always taught your children? I’ll allow you to get in trouble once. But if you haven’t learned your lesson, you’re really in trouble the next time!
  • Any advice for new moms? Get some sleep when your baby sleeps.
  • What is the key to a good life? Enjoying the moment
  • Any funny stories about being a mom? Finding my daughters in the bathtub, trying to figure out how to mix fingernail polish in the water. (Their dad was supposed to be watching them!)
  • What would you consider your motto? Been there, done that.

Maggie

Be a nice person

  • What is your favorite part about being a mom? Raising 3 daughters and seeing how they’ve grown up
  • What is a lesson you always taught your children? Be a nice person.
  • Any advice for new moms? Cherish your children at every stage. Time flies!
  • What is the key to a good life? Surround yourself with people you love.
  • Any funny stories about being a mom? Maggie’s children remember her chasing them around with a wooden spoon. They’d all laugh because they knew she’d never spank them!
  • What would you consider your motto? Take care of everybody.

Jeanene

Always be flexible

  • What is your favorite part about being a mom? Celebrating holidays
  • What is a lesson you always taught your children? Take responsibility for your actions.
  • Any advice for new moms? Kids are more resilient than parents!
  • What is the key to a good life? Love your husband. (Did we mention that Jeanene’s husband helped with the answers?)
  • Any funny stories about being a mom? I MAY have made the kids show me how to get home from somewhere by making only right-hand turns.
  • What would you consider your motto? Always be flexible.

Bev

Never quit what you start

  • What is your favorite part about being a mom? Raising 5 children
  • What is a lesson you always taught your children? Never quit what you start.
  • Any advice for new moms? Sleep/nap when baby is sleeping.
  • What is the key to a good life? Let us be ourselves with fun and laughter.
  • Any funny stories about being a mom? On a vacation road trip, we left one of the boys at the gas station. There were 8 of us in our Rambler station wagon, so it was hard to keep track of everyone. We were way down the road before we noticed we were short a person.
  • What would you consider your motto? Having structure while raising my children resulted in kids who were successful in their own lives!

Claire

Stick together

  • What is your favorite part about being a mom? The kids — Jokes and laughter — Attending activities —  Welcoming the neighborhood kids into our house!
  • What is a lesson you always taught your children? Always tell the truth — Be kind to others — Most important, Murray’s stick together!
  • Any advice for new moms? Patience. And be sure to read the manual that comes with each baby . . . oops!
  • What is the key to a good life? Be honest — Love life and laugh — Bloom where you’re planted.
  • Any funny stories about being a mom? Once, we were on a family trip and stopped at a rest stop for lunch. Bees swarmed us. Beth ran to the car, locked herself in — and us out!.
  • What would you consider your motto? Always tell the truth, and treat all people with respect.

Janet

On Mother’s Day, on every day: Be there for each other

  • What is your favorite part about being a mom? Being there for my kids
  • What is a lesson you always taught your children? Be there for each other.
  • Any advice for new moms? Be there for your baby.
  • What is the key to a good life? Love each other.
  • What would you consider your motto? Live and love.

Larna Sue

Make the best of any situation

  • What is your favorite part about being a mom? Spending time with my kids and their families
  • What is a lesson you always taught your children? Stay positive and see the good in people and situations. (And, for the girls: always wash your face at night. A little lipstick will help you look put together, too.)
  • Any advice for new moms? Be generous with love and affection.
  • What is the key to a good life? Faith and a sense of humor
  • Any funny stories about being a mom? Larna Sue’s children recall that she often baked cookies or treats for events. If she didn’t want the kids getting into them, then she hid them under Will’s bed. (He never found them!)
  • What would you consider your motto? Make the best of any situation.

Monna

Always do your best

  • What is your favorite part about being a mom? I don’t know what I’d do without my kids!
  • What is a lesson you always taught your children? Don’t say anything unless you have something nice to say.
  • Any advice for new moms? Every child is different. Try to listen to them, and always say, “I love you.”
  • What is the key to a good life? Marry a good man like Bob, who was a great father and partner.
  • Any funny stories about being a mom? Two!
    • I have fond memories of our cub scouts riding in a pink thunderbird when we lived in Dodge City.
    • My husband and I always said either was free to leave the marriage. However, whoever left had to take all the kids. No one left!
  • What would you consider your motto? Always do your best.

Linda

Love above all things

  • What is your favorite part about being a mom? Having children and, basically, being a mom
  • What is a lesson you always taught your children? Anything worth doing is worth hard work.
  • Any advice for new moms? Make your babies sleep all night by 6 months.
  • What is the key to a good life? God and family
  • Any funny stories about being a mom? Too many to tell. But I do remember wearing non-matching shoes out one day!
  • What would you consider your motto? Love above all things

Edna

Be careful

  • What is a lesson you always taught your children? Be careful!

Ann

You have to laugh

  • What is a lesson you always taught your children? If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say it. (Ann’s children also learned to stay positive — and always to write thank you notes.)
  • What is the key to a good life? Laughter! You have to be able to laugh.
  • What would you consider your motto? Kindness

Shirley Ann

Know where you came from

  • What’s your favorite part about being a mom? Having my kids call to check in or stop by for a surprise visit.
  • What is a lesson you always taught your kids? Like most mothers, “Always wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident.”
  • Any advice for new moms? Be prepared for anything, especially with boys. And make your house the house where all your children’s friends want to hang out.
  • What is the key to a good life? Know where you came from, and honor your past.
  • Any funny stories about being a mom? Have I told you the one about me jumping up and sitting in the clothes washer after seeing a mouse?
  • What would you consider your motto? You’ll miss me when I’m gone.

Genita

Be honest

  • What is your favorite part about being a mom? Trying to do good
  • What is a lesson you always taught your children? Be dependable and honest — and maintain a strong work ethic.
  • Any advice for new moms? Do the best you can.

Happy Mother's Day

Kathy

There’s always another day

  • What is your favorite part about being a mom? There is something new every day.
  • What is a lesson you always taught your children? Again, there is something new every day.
  • Any advice for new moms? Pray a lot.
  • Any funny stories about being a mom? Lots!
  • What would you consider your motto? There is always another day.

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Lois

Appreciate nature

  • What is your favorite part about being a mom? Well, I don’t know, it’s what you do. (But I enjoyed laughing at the dinner table, watching my kids grow and having special relationships with them.)
  • What is a lesson you always taught your children? Enjoy and appreciate nature. Eat what you have and finish it — you’re lucky. (And one of her adult children recalls this: “Don’t sleep with underwear on – you gotta let it breathe.”)

  • Any advice for new moms? Don’t encourage them to walk early! Seriously, though, you do the best you can. You’ll make mistakes, but that’s okay. What doesn’t kill them makes them stronger!
  • What is the key to a good life? Friendship, fellowship, doing some good, being open to trying new things … and crossword puzzles
  • Any funny stories about being a mom? Too many. Sometimes something tickled me at the dinner table, and then I’d laugh. Eventually, we’d all be giggling uncontrollably, tears streaming down our faces, unable to stop. Yet no one else knew why we were laughing!
  • What would you consider your motto? So many to choose from:
    • Do your best, forgive your mistakes. Enjoy life, and be of service to others. Have a sense of humor. Accept difficult situations in life. (But it’s ok to complain about the small stuff!)
    • Eat your veggies and get out of bed. (Lordy me, I gotta eat, or I will get the heeby-jeebies!)
    • Just keep swimming!

From our camera-shy moms on Mother’s Day

Mary Dey

Surround yourself with family & friends

  • What is your favorite part about being a mom? Spending time with my son. We love to go out to dinner and see movies.
  • What is a lesson you always taught your children? Always be kind to others.
  • Any advice for new moms? Enjoy them while they’re young. They grow up fast!
  • What is the key to a good life? Surrounding yourself with family and friends
  • What would you consider your motto? Don’t forget to laugh!

Lou

Don’t be too critical

  • What is your favorite part about being a mom? Raising my children
  • What is a lesson you always taught your children? I taught them to take care of themselves.
  • Any advice for new moms? Don’t be too critical.

For a terrific Mother’s Day visit

Our Activities Director, Marie Rogers, offers the following tips for your own Mother’s Day celebration:

Take this opportunity to show your deep appreciation for an influential mother figure. That may be your mom — or a nurturing aunt, sister or friend. Recognize the significant role she played in your life.

Aunt Dee

Aunt Berta

Aunt Joy

Get the conversation started by bringing

  • A cookbook to look over favorite recipes and recall afternoons rolling out sugar cookies.
  • A photo album to laugh over shared adventures on a memorable trip.
  • An album or playlist, expressing thanks for introducing you to the music you love.

There’s so much to choose from: Hot Wheels cars you once raced together on the hardwoods, an afghan knitted to warm your first apartment, the diploma she dreamt of for you, the beloved bedtime book she introduced to your children.

Mother’s Day, in particular, is a great time to share these priceless treasures and memories.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms!

If you need help finding a last-minute present, then be sure to see our blog post on the best holiday gifts for seniors and people with Alzheimer’s.

And, if you want to see how our residents spend the rest of the year, then like our Facebook page.

Absolute Best Place

Without any doubt, the Sherwood family feels Carehaven Homes and Staff was the absolute best place for Mom over the last 5 years. Not an institution in any way, the home feel provided in the suburban neighborhood house, and the 24-hour care by their team of qualified and giving individuals, put the rest of our family at ease over Mom’s comfort and quality of life as her dementia progressed. Our heartfelt thanks to all at Carehaven who truly cared for our dear mother.

– Robert Sherwood.

I am so blessed to have found this company

I began my work journey with Care Haven Homes in high school and it has continued throughout my college career. Being with this company for so many years (~5) grants this experienced and honest review. I would like to begin with praising the company for the exemplary care that is not only required by employees but is passionately given to the residents. I did my clinical at a big nursing facility and I was weary about using my CNA/CMA licensure at one because I did not like what I saw. After being referred by my brother to apply to this company, I quickly understood why this was a sought after company for loved ones. The home environment model is taken to another level and one that is more genuine and positive for loved ones with such a difficult mental disease such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. The intimate home setting has allowed me to build very close relationships with my coworkers, but most importantly, the residents. The ratio of no more than 4:1 allows for your loved one to be taken care of like one would expect if I were to take care of my parents in my very own home. There is no other place that I have ever witnessed (during my clinicals for licensure) that gives residents the amount of attention, love, and kindness that myself and everyone that works for Care Haven can give to your current or future loved one. I am so blessed to have found this company and I promote it to my college peers whenever I can. <3

– Cin Mel.

6 Ways to Stay Connected With Seniors When You Can’t Visit

Stay connected with seniors when you can't visit: infographic

The social distancing that keeps our residents safe may be hard on you. Separation leaves some people feeling lonely, anxious or out-of-touch. So, we’ve mustered our creativity to help families stay connected with the seniors they can’t visit.

The following infographic provides a summary of our suggestions. Scroll down for more details.

Stay connected with seniors when you can't visit: infographic

We offer more details and ideas below.

While we’ve tailored our suggestions to meet Care Haven’s safety guidelines, they may be useful to others with at-risk friends or family members. Feel free to share!

1. Visit Virtually

EVERYBODY has a phone these days. Many of us access FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or other apps as well, in order to enjoy each others’ smiling faces.

Our residents and other older adults appreciate either an old-fashioned phone call or a video chat. Just be sure to arrange this ahead of time, so our caregivers can prepare Mom or Dad for your family visit. (Just email our Activities Director, Marie Rogers, at Marie@CareHavenHomes.com.)

Please keep your conversations light and upbeat. Furthermore, it’s better to make frequent short calls than try to hold your loved one’s attention for a long stretch.

2. Between Virtual Visits, Stay In Touch With Seniors The Old-Fashioned Way

Older adults learned to stay connected between visits through the fine art of letter writing. Let’s face it: we all love getting cards and notes via snail mail.

Don’t be intimidated, staring at that empty sheet of paper. A short note — even a postcard — will do. Just include

  1. A salutation (“Dear ____,”)
  2. 3 or 4 sentences
  3. The closing (“Love,”)
  4. Most important, your signature — legible, with an identifier to help if a caregiver needs to read it (Your granddaughter Joan — Your son Jon — Your old friend June — George, your friend from church — Gina, your neighbor from Brookside)

Feel free to add a heart, smiley face or doodle, too. You can even write several notes or cards at the same time and then mail them days or a week apart.

Snail mail: that’s all it takes to stay connected with seniors when you can’t visit.

Speaking of mail, we appreciate it when you send all correspondence to our office, where we can sanitize it before redelivery.

3. Share Your Family’s Artistic Talents

When you can’t visit older adults, enlist both young and old in a creative effort to stay in touch.

  • Remember the preschool masterpiece proudly displayed on the refrigerator? Grandma or Grandpa still has a place of honor for small drawings or uplifting messages from the family.
  • Don’t stop at the visual arts. You can email a video of a vocal solo, piano piece or those first steps and cartwheels. Again, please keep it short — there’s always a replay button for anyone who wants more.
  • At a loss for ideas? Stick to something seasonal. For instance, during April, most people love pictures of birds and flowers, while in December they’d welcome a favorite carol.

4. Care Packages Keep You In Touch When You Can’t Visit Your Favorite Senior

If your loved one could make up a new verse to “My Favorite Things,” what would they include? Consider items that comfort, pamper or amuse them. (We stock our homes with plenty of tasty treats, so please don’t send food items.)

You could send an adult coloring book, a puzzle, a favorite magazine or a compact coffee table book. Make it a small parcel — think “SURPRISE!” rather than “storage.” After all, just as an older adult appreciates brief but frequent visits, they enjoy staying connected with a series of notes and small packages when you can’t visit.

Please do us a favor and sanitize everything in your package before sending it to our office. We’ll do the same before we deliver it. (If you’re considering something like a small tube of lotion, please send only sealed, unopened items at this time.)

5. A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words (Which Is Many, Many Visits!)

Have you tried out photo sites like ShutterflyMpixCVS or Walgreen’s? Many are running specials as people shelter in place.

Consider creating an album filled with pictures of family members or recalling special memories. Take the opportunity to scan and upload treasured wedding photos or vacation pictures, thereby preserving a digital copy. (You can always use them later in other albums as well!)

Our caregivers appreciate it if you also add text to photo books, identifying both people and places. Then we can help your loved one share their memories.

6. Help Seniors Safely Connect When You Can’t Visit

Most of our residents are eagerly share their good fortune with others. (Perhaps on past visits you’ve noticed Mom proudly move your garden bouquet to the living room for all to see.)

She’d still welcome flowers, but you could send the DVD of a classic film or a favorite soundtrack CD instead. The large TV rooms in our homes safely accommodate a special screening.

Have Questions Or Need More Suggestions To Keep Connected With Seniors When You Can’t Visit?

We’re here to help. Just email our Activities Director, Marie Rogers, at Marie@CareHavenHomes.com.

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