Reasons to Care for Aging Parents

For those with elderly parents, it is common to spend days and nights worrying about whether what is being done for them is enough. Those that are invested in the health and well-being of their elderly parents often suffer from the guilt of wondering whether they are doing the right thing or if they are falling short of being the ideal child. What is most important to understand however is that to truly be the best son or daughter possible it is first necessary to understand why it is important to care for the elderly. Here are a few reasons why it’s beneficial to care for your aging parents.

Cost

Many people would agree without fail that this is one of the leading reasons why taking care of the elderly can be a blessing or a curse. A great many elderly citizens don’t consume as much in the way of food as others, but they do tend to require more care, which means more supplies, specialized machines, medicines, and other items that can eventually begin to add up. In the case of those elderly parents that are healthy and fully capable, the cost tends to go down, which is a fortunate turn of events. However, as parents continue to get older, their physical and mental faculties do tend to start slipping and even breaking down as time takes its due. This opens up the idea of whether your parents can continue to live at home or if they will require admission into a rest home that will be able to take better care of them.

This choice can bring about an entirely new set of issues, as senior home care is to many tantamount to shipping their parents off and bidding them a fond farewell before the final curtain falls. If one admits their parents to just any rest home without taking into account what they offer and how professional their services are then this could be the case. However, if one does their due diligence and manages to find a home that is not only amenable to the needs of their parents both physically and emotionally it can at least help to make that transition a little easier. Unfortunately, those care homes that are nicer than others tend to cost a bit more, meaning that aside from any other expenses that might accrue it would be necessary to foot a monthly bill to round out the total loss. Fortunately, many elderly homes do in fact include all of their services in one monthly bill. This might still be a high cost, but at the very least it offers peace of mind for the parents and the children.

Human Dignity

Your parents did, in fact, do a great deal to raise you and ensure that your life was comfortable enough to accommodate your every need. In their golden years, it’s not too much to ask that you do the same. Whether they remain in their home where they are granted home care by one means or another, or if they are sent to live in an elder care home, children should feel at least obligated to make certain that their needs are being met. Although it is easy to understand that many individuals cannot afford the high prices of nursing homes, the cost of in-home care is less expensive and provides the elderly the chance to remain within a comforting and familiar location.

The only real downside of in-home care is that it does require a good deal of time, patience, and effort on the part of the children. No parent wants to be a burden to their children, but in home care can require an around-the-clock care provider that lives with the parent(s) and is there to attend their needs whenever necessary.
Being allowed to remain in their home is quite beneficial for the elderly as there is no need for transition and no confusion as to where they find themselves and why. With those who have dementia, this is even more beneficial as from day to day the reality of their lives continues to slip and some semblance of familiarity is needed from time to time. The main point is that those parents that are allowed to remain in their home as they age are often far happier and more well-adjusted as they continue to age. While this is not always possible in some cases, it is very much preferred by many, as the need to be somewhere familiar and inviting in one’s golden years is a universal desire among the elderly.

Medical Care

Whether they are allowed to stay at home or sent to an elderly care home, senior citizens will need to be seen by the doctor now and again. While some elderly patients will be reasonable and even accepting of this fact others will continually refuse or conveniently “forget” their regular checkups, which can be increasingly dangerous as one reaches old age. Children are often able to serve as the voice of reason or even the voice of authority when it comes to convincing their parents that a doctor’s visit is necessary. Far from being an attempt to wrest complete personal choice from a parent, it becomes the adult child’s responsibility to reason with their parent as to why their continued health is a necessity. While there is typically no need for anything past friendly argument, there are times when adult children must make the hard decisions and find a way to keep their aging parents from neglecting their health.

When caring for elderly parents, there is no question that children do in fact have many choices to make on the type of care that will be given and how they can find a way for their parents to retain their dignity while receiving the best care possible. Many would agree that in-home care is the best, but others would insist that care homes are the way to go. No matter which method is selected, it falls to the adult children to decide how best to preserve the dignity of their elderly parents, and how much they are willing to give to make this happen.

Visiting an Art Gallery Tips

Visiting an art gallery can be a very interesting and even stimulating experience. However, it can also be quite confusing and even a little bit intimidating. There are bound to be pieces that you find aesthetically appealing and artwork that you simply do not understand. This is quite normal considering that artists are not always on the same level as those that enjoy their work but cannot always understand it. What is important is to enjoy what you see and be open to the visions of others that might send you rocketing out of your comfort zone. Remember, what goes on inside your head isn’t always the same picture that others will see. With that in mind, here are many ways that you might find it easier to enjoy your next trip to an art gallery.

Visiting an Art Gallery

Art galleries are essential venues that are used to display and showcase the type of talent that the public feels is worthy of note. When visiting such locations it goes without saying that you need to respect the art of those that have produced such pieces, but it is also advised to go in with an open mind, as will be described. Here are a few tips to remember when walking through a gallery.

Beautiful display of street art

1) Go with a friend.

It’s always fun to go out with someone if only to have another person to talk to. In this case, however, it is interesting to take a look at the same pieces and discover what you and your friend each see. There might be some part of the piece that you missed or something you might have noticed that your friend did not that brings the design into greater perspective.

2) Be selective in what you wish to view.

Depending on the gallery there might be more to see than you realize. Don’t feel the need to see and comment on everything. Pick your favorite artist, period, or medium and start there. This can minimize the amount of time you spend walking around simply trying to take in everything. Such an act can easily leave you overwhelmed and unable to appreciate the more intricate notes of each piece.

3) Create a backstory for each piece.

An art gallery is meant to inspire and create new and exciting thought processes that lead to further innovation. As you view those pieces that you find most stimulating take the time to stop and ponder what went into it, what the subject might have been, and what the artist was trying to say with this particular piece. A large part of art is perception and interpretation, and creating what each piece means in your words and ideas brings an interesting amount of whimsy to such a viewing.

4) Make use of digital devices.

If you want the lowdown on a particular piece or artist, it is recommended to purchase an audio guide that can be used to give you a better idea of what you might be looking at and what it means. These devices can give up to date information directly from the curator or even the artist, allowing you a unique look into their inspiration and reason behind their work.

5) Take the guided tour.

This is often recommended if it is your first time. This can allow you to fully enjoy the pieces while someone else points out the nuances of the design and the accomplishments of the artist. It can also give you a better idea of the scope of just how an art gallery operates.

6) Try a family activity trail.

Many galleries are now switching to a family-friendly format and are including activity trails that allow children and their families to experience the traditional art gallery while being able to interact in a manner that is meant to inspire and stimulate the creativity of younger art lovers. In short, this is a perfect way to inspire the next generation of aspiring artists.

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh. Perhaps one of the most famous paintings ever. Available to be seen at an art gallery.

7) Take photographs when possible.

Several galleries will allow the use of non-flash photography provided it is for personal use. Always ask however before you start filling up your camera with pictures. Some artists are rather sensitive about their work being copied or in any way converted to another medium, so it pays to be polite. Just remember that if you plan to use the photographs for anything other than personal use you will run the risk of infringing on the copyright laws of the artist, which is not a wise idea.

8) Visit the gift shop.

If you want a memento or a reminder of what you’ve seen the gift shop will be a perfect place to visit to find the one thing you might think is perfect to display in your home as a memory.

9) Have a pleasing conversation in the cafe.

Many galleries have a gift shop and even a small cafe attached to them to better serve their guests. Before or after your viewing take the time to enter into a conversation or two concerning the artwork and anything about the gallery. You might be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to fall into a pleasurable chat.

10) Summarize the experience.

Just take a few minutes to find a few ideal words that will best explain the experience and your reaction to it. These words should be able, to sum up what you saw, how it affected you, and the reaction it provoked. After concluding the manner in which you were affected by what you saw, the challenge should be to return to the gallery at least once more to see if your initial reaction still holds firm after having seen the displays for the first time. Surprisingly, many individuals never look at the same piece the same way twice.

Art is by definition the creative expression of humanity and as such provokes a response within many individuals in very different ways. You should feel it a personal challenge to visit an art gallery at least once or twice in your life to simply experience what it is like to view the workings of another’s mind, so as to gain just a little more perspective on life from a different perspective.

Art In Real Life – Musee Du Louvre

Like many of you, I’ve seen every masterpiece of Western Art. The Mona Lisa? Yes. Starry Night? Of course. Girl With a Pearl Earring? Many times. But let me clarify: I’ve seen these extraordinary works of art over and over again in classes, on posters, and online. They’re usually extremely oversized (art history lectures, posters, movies) or cut into details (magnets, mugs, exhibition catalogs), and always completely out of context and proportion. That’s why we decided to create the Art in Real Life series: we wanted to give you a sense of the true size of works of art as compared to the average viewer.

Inspired by trips to famous museums during our studies abroad, we’ve created posts with photographs that show some of the world’s most famous masterpieces in their actual context. There’s nothing that can replace the experience of seeing a work of art in person, so our biggest hope is that this series will be a resource and inspiration for exploring these masterpieces more deeply.

My recent trip to Paris inspired several new Art in Real Life posts. This first post will focus on the Musée du Louvre, arguably the world’s most famous museum, as well as the one with the highest concentration of recognizable masterpieces in its vast collections. These collections add up to a total of 380,000 objects from prehistory to the presentonly 9.2% are on view at any given time.

The Louvre is the world’s most visited museum, with over 15,000 national and international patrons a day, and it certainly feels that way when you’re trying to fight through the crowds! Visiting the Louvre is a surreal experience since there seems to be a recognizable masterpiece (or a room of them) around every corner.

I can guarantee that you will get lost, but you’ll probably find something interesting along the way, for example, I recently found the Louvres new galleries of Islamic Art, which are housed under a sunny pavilion in a courtyard.