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Questions tagged with 'elderly' at Ask MetaFilter.

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    My spouse's mother, a senior citizen, just learned this year that she has heart failure. She survived multiple heart surgeries recently, a harrowing process during which she said she never wants to go through that again. Great! We assumed this meant that she was seeing this as a wakeup call to change her eating/exercise habits and stress levels so that she could get healthier. Several weeks later, it turns out that she is going back to all the old habits that helped contribute to heart disease in the first place. Is there any hope for her changing her deeply-ingrained habits? If so, what can my spouse do from afar to help support mom? If there isn't any hope for her adjusting her lifestyle, then how can we learn to accept her choices and still give her the support she needs? We live far away from her, and my spouse has spent much time visiting, patiently trying to help her choose healthier foods, and cooking at home. MIL who lives alone, won't cook for herself, and has also rejected the idea of hiring a personal chef, or eating prepackaged meals. She prefers to continue eating at the same restaurants, and will order foods that are not considered heart-healthy at all, or very unbalanced in favor of sugar/salt. While she is certainly stubborn, she is also quite possibly confused because she has received many conflicting opinions on how to eat healthier, both from her doctors, and from society in general. The good news is that she was never a smoker, and only drinks rarely.

    Specifically, I'm looking for A) examples of people who had major "wakeup calls" and drastically changed their habits at an advanced age. What is required from an emotional perspective to be able to reverse such deeply ingrained habits? And B) How can we better accept a person's choice to refuse to change their unhealthy habits?

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  • 08/04/14--12:15: Mother's Little Helper
  • YANMMD -- you are not my mother's doctor. But you probably can do a better job than her current one. Please help. My 87-year-old mother recently moved back to her hometown, a place we'll refer to as Hellhole, Arkansas. She is in excellent physical health (cholesterol a tiny bit high, but ratios good, not overweight, no smoking or drinking). Mentally she has always been a miserable person, and this has worsened (along with serious short-term memory loss) in the past few years. She is 13 of 15 on the Geriatric Depression Scale. She lacks appetite and can't focus.

    The doctor she is seeing, one of the few in Hellhole, is at least 70. He made inappropriate comments while "examining" my tits when I was a teenager and is IMO one of those last-in-his-class-at-a-third-rate-med-school physicians who survived because he serves a mostly ignorant population. The nearest gerontologist is 2+ hours away from Hellhole, and I can't get her in until December.

    I believe that it's worth trying her on dementia or anti-depression meds, and my sister conveyed this to Dr. Hellhole. He put her on Zoloft (I don't know the dose yet) and said he'd check her "in a month."

    Everything I have read suggests that a: Zoloft may not be the best drug for seniors, b: it sometimes takes 12 weeks for results in elderly patients c: she should be very closely monitored and d: he probably prescribes it because he plays golf with the rep.

    I'm calling him this afternoon. (I'm on her HIPAA paperwork). I KNOW I'M NOT A DOCTOR. But I've probably done more reading about geriatric depression than her doctor, and I'm not lazy or indebted to my pharmaceutical rep.

    Issues of my own surfacing from childhood? DEFINITELY. I'm aware of that and trying hard to not let it color my actions. But I could really use some advice, and I welcome hearing about experiences from those who have been through a similar situation. Thanks so much.

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  • 08/13/14--09:45: Aging in literature and film
  • As I approach my fifties and confront the reality that parts of my body are wearing out and will never be young and resilient again, I turn to the arts for deeper philosophical understanding of this aspect of the human condition that I am facing. I'd like recommendations of fictional treatments of physical aging which are realistic but compassionate. Guidelines and caveats behind the fold. I would prefer literary fiction rather than memoir or genre fiction, but I will consider some mysteries or SF if they are particularly well written and a distinctive treatment of the theme. I welcome books from both female and male authors, but would like to stay away from the typical Updike/Roth/Mailer treatment which seems to be oriented mainly around the author's fear of the loss of potency of his penis. I am more interested in characters dealing with the physical limitations and losses of aging, more so than mental concerns. I do not want to read something that makes fun of or is cruel to the old. I do not want to read something that is totally bleak, but more that it is about coming to terms with the stage of life that the character(s) is/are in. In literature, a good example is the works of Alice Munro. In film, a good example is Robot and Frank, or Harold and Maude.

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    My mother is 90-years-old and lives alone. We worry when she doesn't pick up for the phone or we haven't heard from her for a couple of days. She is actively-opposed to any sort of regular check-ins by phone or e-mail to us, and she also does not want to use any type of monitoring service for the elderly (such as Lifeline) She does, however, use e-mail and her computer on a daily basis. Is there any software I can install that would send out e-mail alerts to us when she has (or hasn't) used her computer in x amount of hours? I would, of course, ask her permission to do this, and I am fairly sure she would be okay with it. (Don't ask me what exactly the difference is between this and Lifeline, I think it has to do with the stigma of aging that a service like Lifeline implies, something she is quite sensitive about.)

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    I want to buy a few non-word-search puzzle games or books for a friend's grandmother, who is ESL and has age-related difficulties (needs large print, easy-level puzzles). I want to buy something and have it shipped, I don't want to print out puzzles, and nothing electronic format. I prefer books which have a bunch of the same type of puzzle, so we can explain the instructions to her and then she can work through a bunch. Puzzles which require complicated or nuanced reading or a different explanation for every page are no good.

    She likes word searches, but she already has a ton. She likes to try different things. Most other word-based puzzles would be too hard, things like crosswords would just be impossible for her.

    She likes Numbrix, but usually can only complete the easy-level ones. She doesn't have many of these, since we have been printing them out one at a time.

    She likes simple matching card games (I forgot the name of the one she likes) but something like Set may be too hard. We're also going to buy Quirkle and try that. Multi-player games are OK if they are good, but I'm mostly looking for things she can do without us.

    I can find a lot of one-off puzzles that fit these requirements, but I'm having trouble getting large collections.

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    Family members have gotten an Android tablet for my 97-year-old grandmother. Please suggest some ways to make the tablet as friendly and easy to use as possible for someone who has computer experience, but who can be pessimistic about learning new things and can get frustrated with people trying to teach her. We're particularly interested in tablet settings and also methods for instructing her in its use, but also open to hearing about tutorials or apps that might make her experience smoother. I'm overseas, so I'll be passing along ideas to my dad. My grandmother has been using a Windows desktop for email, web browsing, and some word-processing for many years, but lately it's been getting difficult for her to sit at the computer desk for very long. Her eyesight is not great, but she reads large-print books and has been able to see her monitor well enough by leaning in close. Her hand coordination can be a bit unsteady and she will accidentally click or double-click on things, usually without realizing that she has done so. Short-term memory is getting worse and changes to familiar things like her email client can throw her for a loop.

    She has previously played with a piano keyboard app on an iPad and was quite absorbed by it. We think she'd like to do more of that kind of thing, as well as her usual computing activities. There will also be a bunch of family photos on the SD card for her to browse.

    The tablet is a Lenovo IdeaTab A10-70 (aka A7600-F) running Android 4.4.2 (Kit Kat). From what I can tell, it doesn't have a physical HOME button, only soft keys.

    We're especially interested in settings or learning techniques to do the following:

    •Setting the virtual keyboard to resemble a physical keyboard as much as possible (e.g. not hiding punctuation)
    •Making it easy to use her Gmail account, like (importantly) very simple ways to choose contacts for new messages, also a very basic app that doesn't allow her to accidentally swipe-to-delete emails
    •Making the interface - icons and text - large enough for her to see easily.
    •An easy way to find and browse photos, perhaps also using a slideshow
    •A browser that supports an easy and intuitive way to access bookmarks and to enter search terms
    •Avoiding accidentally launching apps or getting confused by accidentally pressing the menu soft key when holding the tablet (maybe using a stylus? Some kind of lap desk that the tablet can be attached to so she doesn't have to grip it?)
    •General de-cluttering and getting confusing things out of sight
    •Ways to ease her into it without causing her to feel pressured or getting frustrated and giving up

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    My 87 year old Mother likes to help in my office. She is healthy, but frail. Should I mention to clients that I don't want them coming in to see me when they are sick and that I would prefer they have a flu shot? Is there some sort of proper business etiquette for this? Thanks. I'm in casual California, if that helps.

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    My mom (she's 71) continues to work a couple of part time jobs, both out of financial need and a determination to keep working. One of them has her standing on a concrete floor for fairly long periods a few times a week. I'm looking for advice on the best shoes that will keep her as comfortable as possible, ones I can buy online (preferably in Canada) and send to her. I realize sizing is probably an issue here, with buying shoes online, but I'm keen to try anyway.

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  • 11/12/14--07:26: Feeding a sick elderly dog
  • What to do for an elderly, sick, underweight dog who won't eat his prescription food? Asking for a friend. His terrier is 16 and has chronic pancreatitis as well as liver and kidney disease, which he's on a prescription canned food for. He also gets NSAIDs in his food for arthritis in his hips and spine. As if he needed another thing to be going wrong, he's pretty underweight- fighting weight is 10 lbs and he's below 8. He's been refusing to eat his prescription food. If he doesn't eat, he can't get his NSAIDs. I'm trying to figure out what to do to help him live out the time he has left in comfort. I've thought about mixing other things into his prescription food, but he can't have too much protein or fat. My next step is to try to mix in low-sodium beef broth or flavoring but I'm looking for other ideas to get him eating and keep him comfortable.

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    My father is aging, with heart problems and developing dementia. I am generally a conscientious person, but I'm staring down the necessity of supporting him like the barrel of a gun. Special snowflake details inside. I live about 2.5 hours drive from my parents. Earlier this year, my mom died of cancer. I brought her into my home and my in-laws and I took care of her. Now, it turns out that she was basically taking care of my father: he clearly is not self-sustaining, but does not want to leave his home. I cannot move closer (he lives in my hometown, in the middle of nowhere).

    So, until now (for the last four months, since my mom died), my seven aunts and uncles have basically been taking care of him. My two siblings are nowhere to be seen. I have been visiting every weekend since my mom died, handling finances, and helping pay for things where I can.

    This week, one of the aunts started sending me abusive emails, talking about how my dad "is not her responsibility," and claiming that I'm not helping enough, and so on. Here are facts of my life.

    1. My mom raised me. My parents were separated from my birth until I was 16, when my mom and I moved back in with my father to take care of him after he had bypass surgery.

    2. My father was a "father" in that he provided a zygote, and he provided a token amount of money for rent to my mom. (Complaining about it every time, of course.) He was never a "dad."

    3. In his present location, my dad has 7 siblings and their (adult) children to deal with problems. If I take full responsibility for him, these will melt away and it will be me, my currently-38-weeks-pregnant-wife, and in-laws.

    I am generally a very conscientious person, but at this point in my life I feel unable to take anything else on. I just don't think it's feasible, logistically: how can I work, deal with my dad's medical appointments and other issues, and actually have time to spend with my son and wife at this, the most incredible time that we can possibly share? All of my aunts and uncles and other relatives have their commitments, but their children are also grown. I was hoping to be able to help financially, providing pay for wear and tear on peoples' cars, buying meals, doing the finances and paperwork for my dad, and so on—but this is clearly not satisfying for the rest of my clan.

    At this point, my instinct is to just "hang it up." I can't deal with abuse and disrespect on top of the other issues. I feel like I'm about to explode from stress.

    Has anyone dealt with a similar situation? Am I a horrible person?

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    This question - how to set up an iPad for an elderly relative - has been asked frequently before. I'll summarize what I learned from those threads and ask a few new questions related to new iOS 8 features and cases, keyboards, and styluses. I bought an iPad Air for my 85 year old mom and am looking for advice on setting it up (something I'll do later this weekend). She uses a windows desktop computer today and does OK, and has broadband. I'll also be setting up a WiFi access point and will be with her a couple of days over Christmas to give her a few lessons on using the iPad. Complications: she has arthritis, and macular degeneration, so has some trouble with her hands and vision isn't that great. I bought her a Kindle DX a couple of years ago and it didn't go that well - the chiclet style keyboard was just too small and hard to read. My complications: I live a couple hundred miles away. I have an iPad, but it is first generation, so I'm not familiar with iOS features on an iPad beyond iOS 5 (I do use iOS 8 on a phone).

    This question has been asked more than a few times over the years, but I don't see anything more recent than December of 2013 (Here are the most helpful threads I found: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5). Here are my main take-aways from reading through those discussions:

    - There are a number of accessibility settings in iOS that I can tweak to make things more readable, like size of text and contrast (iOS 7 accessibility tips linked here and here)
    - A stylus is a good idea as an add-on
    - A bluetooth keyboard is a good idea as an add-on (and don't skimp here)
    - There are iPad cases that are easy to grip, with handstraps on the back
    - iPads end up generating a lot of user IDs and passwords, so write them down somewhere in case they are needed
    - Set up an iTunes account/Apple ID without a credit card linked to it; I can always do that later or gift in money for apps
    - Set up FaceTime to be able to message and video chat with my mom
    - Set up PhotoStream to be able to share photos

    Here are my specific questions that are a little more geared towards 2014:

    - The last review of cases with straps/handgrips I found was dated 2012. I'm looking for up-to-date recommendations on a case with some kind of strap or handgrip to make it easier for mom to hold onto the device with her arthritic hands.
    - I don't use a stylus myself, any recommendations there? I imagine something big/fat would probably be better.
    - Same with bluetooth keyboards. Any particular recommendations?
    - One of the new things that came out with iOS 8 are third party (software) keyboards. I googled to see if there are better choices out there than the default keyboard that Apple provides, but found this disappointing review at that basically says, "too early."
    - My thought was to create an iTunes account for my mom without a credit card attached, and also to turn on the "Family Sharing" feature in iOS 8 - good idea?
    - What iOS8 features am I overlooking here?
    - What applications should I plan to preload for her? My mom likes to read about current events, likes to do the crossword puzzle in her daily newspaper, and likes to read novels. Based on the other threads I linked above, I'm planning to load Kindle, Flipboard, and a weather app. What else?
    - Any other advice you would give me to make it a good experience? Once I walk out the door on the day after Christmas, I'll probably be gone until March, so I want to plan as much in advance as I can. I'm especially interested in anything that would let me assist her remotely.

    Thanks as always for your ideas and assistance!

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    My father and step-father (both in their seventies) are nearing the end of their lives, and I want to give them books to read in the time they have left. I'm not looking for anything that's necessarily literally on the topic of death, nor anything religious or self-help-ish. I'm looking for books suitable for a person with limited ability to concentrate due to pain/fatigue, that run the gamut from pleasant & not inappropriate, to ones that will provoke reflection and help them come to terms with dying. Please help with your recommendations. For context: both men are emotionally healthy and have had, I think, satisfying lives. They have had regrets and disappointments (including maybe ones I don't know about), but AFAIK there are no major unresolved issues. It will not be weird or heavy-handed for me to bring them books: we all read a lot, and share books all the time.

    For both, their taste in nonfiction leans towards history/biography/anthropology/politics. They read a lot of authors whose names I don't remember, but the ones I do are people like Simon Winchester, Oliver Sacks, Bill Bryson, Marvin Harris, and Jon Krakauer. My stepfather doesn't read much fiction but my father does: he likes Orwell and Hemingway, and loves the Nero Wolfe and Travis Magee books. (He has a thing about smart-ass ladies-men detectives, lol. He is a priest.)

    I would love your recommendations. Thanks in advance.

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    We are getting an iPad for my 90 year old grandma. What are some good games or other apps? She particularly likes card games like bridge and other games she plays on Hoyle Card Games on her old Windows 98 machine. I'm hoping the accessibility on the iPad will be better for her than struggling to continue with a pc.

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  • 01/22/15--14:46: Where to live next?
  • 65, need to find home. Where to live next? After 7 years in Asheville, one in London, and not yet one in the Berkshires, I need to find a home.
    Single, male, 68 yrs, living on SS and a small pension, can no longer find or afford housing in Asheville. Berkshires too cold, too socially isolated. Need new digs. Maybe even senior housing if it's affordable.

    I really need some ideas how to sort this oiut.

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    My aunt, Anne, is being emotionally abusive to my 95-year old grandmother. Anne is also verbally abusive towards the nursing home staff. She has snuck an attorney into the nursing home in an attempt to get my grandmother to sign paperwork changing power of attorney. Fortunately the alarmed nursing home staff recognized what was going on and immediately called my other aunt, Kate, who has had power of attorney for the last 30 years. Kate rushed to the nursing home and stopped the process. That attorney dropped her as a client but she got another one. Now my aunt is apparently preparing to sue Kate, my dad (he's Kate and Anne's brother) as well as the nursing home. This is all occurring in the state of Texas. Anne has never been emotionally stable. She has sued her own children, and she is completely estranged from her kids and grandkids. They even keep their addresses a secret so she can't track them down. She has latched onto my grandmother as her "cause" in the last couple of years, finding fault with my grandmother's current nursing home care and making it her mission in life to wrestle power of attorney from Kate. When my grandmother was lucid, she assigned POA to Kate, since she recognized Anne's mental illness. Anne is the oldest and this seems to bother her.

    Prior to this sudden interest, Anne lived about an hour away from my Grandmother, but would only visit her 2-3 times a year.

    My grandmother suffers from the early stages of dementia. She is incontinent, bedridden, cannot dress herself and often requires help to feed herself. The nursing home facility that she's in provides 24-hour-a-day skilled nursing care which is what she needs. My dad and Kate researched this particular nursing home thoroughly and visited dozens before choosing it. Anne hates the nursing home and thinks that my grandmother should be moved into a 6-bedroom house which serves as a "home for seniors" in San Antonio.

    The current nursing home says they cannot ban Anne from the premises unless she is physically abusive.

    We've got video of my grandmother stating she does not want to move into the assisted living facility. When Anne is around her, however, she berates her into saying the opposite. My grandmother has moments where she thinks clearly, and moments when she gets confused.

    Anne's own living conditions are likely to be substandard. She has 5+ cats and has been unable to use her computer before because they urinate on the keyboard. Anne once visited me in my home 15 years ago and turned on my gas stove but did not light it, filling the kitchen with gas. She also steals books from the library and has stolen her neighbor's cats when she moves.

    Anne does have a history of nickel-and-diming my grandmother for money. For example, if she brings my grandmother a $10 bottle of homeopathic supplements, she will turn the receipt into Kate to be reimbursed for the expense. Still, I don't think that money is her only motivation. I think she is just bitter and angry and so mentally ill she's not assessing the situation correctly. We are not sure where she is getting the money to pay for her legal pursuits.

    So, what can we do about Anne? It seems that Texas only grants restraining orders if there are threats of violence. We obviously have an attorney acting on Kate's behalf, but we really don't want to get into a long, legal battle. Kate is so exhausted - she is in her mid 70s herself. Still, we're concerned that Anne will somehow succeed in manipulating the situation to her advantage.

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    My mother died unexpectedly last week at the age of 64, more than likely of a heart attack, and the whole family has been in shock and upset. She had some serious health issues that she neglected (both to treat and to tell us about) and it basically was the end of her. One of the biggest things she did was being the primary caretaker of our dad who will be 79 next month. So now we're left with trying to figure out what to do... The roller coaster of emotions surrounding her sudden death is very painful and I think the family is basically just trying to take it one day at a time with mixed results.

    A few days after after her death we received a call from his PCP (who was also her PCP). Aside from his condolences he let us know that dad basically has dementia (not specifically know to us before), that he shouldn't be left to live alone, he needs care much like having a baby and that we should consider things like assisted living and maybe down the line a nursing home.

    What?? what?!? whaaat??!?!? He had a stroke a couple of years and seemed to have suffered language and oral communication deterioration but dementia was new news to us. He's had hand tremors for years but that was not attributed to any neurological causes. His peripheral vision was affected also. He has had heart surgery in the past, was a cigarette smoker for years before that (not now) and recently with the stroke his medication list has grown.

    At the risk or rambling on, please forgive me if I do, we don't know what the heck to do! Not even sure what questions to be asking or what resources to be consulting or where to even begin.

    The facts are that between myself and 1 brother, our SOs who all have full-time jobs and 3 toddlers between us, our physical and mental capacities are stretched thin already. I thought I was stressed out before with 2 kids a mortgage and the horrible snowy winter this year but this takes it to a whole other level.

    We live about 25-30 minutes (Winchester and Reading) away from dad (Watertown) and work about an hour's or so commute away (Needham and Worcester). So I don't that we could sustain going to see him everyday to make sure he takes his meds correctly for long term. He get confused and take his before/after breakfast meds at once. Or the other day he took the evening medication in the morning.

    This is in eastern Massachusetts: Watertown is where dad lives in kind of an elderly independent living apartment complex. He has a visiting nurse come maybe once or twice a week (not sure). They had another woman coming in who was supposed to be a home aid from the same agency but my mom befriended her and I think maybe she didn't do all the things she is required to do like laundry or house cleaning etc... but she would take my mom food shopping or go for her if the weather was bad.

    The visiting nurse and aid have already put in a request for more hours for my dad but we don't know if that will be sufficient. So what do we do about that? He is on Medicare and MassHealth so there is a possibility that some services will be covered but we certainly could not afford a situation like assisted living or nursing home.

    We're trying to speak to his PCP to figure out what his plan of care is and what appointments he's got coming up.

    We've spoken to the bank to have one of us be on the checking account to pay bills. He receives a yet unknown amount from SSI monthly. We have an appointment with SSI next month.

    I don't even know what else there is to deal with, that's one thing we need help with. Another thing that we need help with is figuring out what to do long term.

    Some of the ideas that are being considered are technological like a medication dispensing device that will simplify that process, I know there are some that will send out an alert if a dosage is missed etc...Another thing is maybe putting a webcam so we can keep an eye on him for whatever good that would do. There are motion sensors and things that we could install that would allow us to monitor him but I don't know how useful they are and a cursory glance at some options I've found online has shown that some of this is costly.

    Non-tech things: Do we need an attorney for anything? Is it a good idea for one of us to have power of attorney? health proxy? Are there any social services we can/need to/should pursue? What else? or instead?

    The life insurance policy we had for mom was practically useless when it came time to use it for the funeral expenses. Guaranteed life but only pays out the premiums +10% if you've had it under less than 3 years. So probably another thing we need to review.

    These are all things that mom would have been good at figuring out :(
    She would complain to us to a mild degree about dad and what she had to deal with but never led us to believe that it was this bad. And we didn't know about any serious cardiac issues until we started going through her documents and saw letters from her doc urging her to seek treatment. Had we only known. This has been my worse nightmare for a long while, to have mom go before dad, and now it's happened.

    I know this is a lot to ask from strangers on the internet but...damn if this isn't anxiety/panic attack inducing stuff!
    Thanks in advance for any and all contributions. I can check in and answer any questions if needed periodically.

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    Kitteh is 17 and going strong, except that he's lost three pounds in the past several months. His vet has prescribed special food. I bought samples of two brands from the vet to see if he'd eat them and he likes them both (good kitty!) Now I need to find the best source to buy them from in bulk. The two brands are:

    Purina Veterinary Diets NF Kidney Function Formula Feline
    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal LP Modified Feline

    Preliminary shopping search shows that prices vary widely - the Royal Canin is more than twice as much from Amazon (I have Prime) than it is from other sources, but the Purina is about the same.

    Tell me, hivemind: Is there an excellent, low-cost source for prescription cat food that you recommend?

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    I am leading a reminiscence group at the skilled nursing facility where I work and am looking for topics for the residents to discuss. Participants in the group are generally pretty cognitively intact and were born between 1925 and 1935. So far we've talked about where they were born (what it was like at the time and how it's changed), favorite trips they've taken, memories about historic events during their lifetime (D-Day, President Kennedy shot, etc.), and favorite foods growing up, but I'm looking for more ideas about things to discuss. I'd probably shy away a bit from possibly controversial topics (religion, race, politics, that sort of thing), or something specific, like grandchildren, that might not be inclusive to all group members, since the goal is to build ties among the residents, but otherwise I'm totally open to any suggestions. Thanks for your help!

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    Our elderly neighbors were planning on fencing in 1300 square feet of common ground that adjoins our lot. They also wanted to put their fence about 4 feet over into our side yard. We gently tried talking to them about the potential encroachments twice. Unfortunately they were not open to moving their fence stakes even after we gave them our survey and the plat of our street showing the common ground. We had to eventually involve the neighborhood trustee in charge of fence approvals. Now they are absolutely furious about it. Did we do the right thing? How can we now deal with angry neighbors who yell at us from their car as they drive past our house? Our lot adjoins common ground/green space towards the back. It's one of the reasons that we bought our house. When we installed our fence, we put a gate in our backyard so our family could access the green space. We also have a large side yard.

    Our neighbors had told us that they were going to tie into our existing fence. This was OK, but when I was in our backyard, I noticed that the fence company had staked out the fence placement to include a 13' x 100 feet section of the common ground -- which would completely block our access. Our gate would lead into their "yard." I also noticed that they had staked out a 4' x 15' foot section of our side yard to enclose.

    My husband caught one of the homeowners out in the yard and casually told him that he thought he was wrong about the stake placement. Our neighbor denied that there was common ground, and said that he was correct about the side yard as well.

    We were surprised, because we were expecting that this was a misunderstanding. Who expects to be able to put a fence on land they don't own?

    A week later we took them our survey showing our side yard and common ground frontage. The neighborhood plat also clearly showed the common ground. They got really angry and said they were not going to move their fence. My husband works in real estate, so he tried his best to explain what an encroachment was and how it could make it tough for us to sell our property later on. No luck.

    As a last resort, we had to involve the trustee on the architectural board, who sent them an email saying that they received approval only for a fence on their lot -- not our lot and not the common ground. A week later the fence was installed in the correct spot (still about 6" over onto our property but better than 4').

    They are absolutely furious with us. They will drive by our house and yell out the car window "We lost 13 feet of our yard because of you!" The wife also has yelled that they've here for 19 years with no problems, and that we move in "and create a BIG stink and involve the trustees." They say that we are just causing problems.

    Did we do the right thing? How do we deal with a couple in their late 70s that now seems intent on harassing us when they drive past our house? We are 40 and have 2 small kids. The kids are scared of these people, too. We feel like we can't use our own yard now without being yelled at.

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    I'm looking to set up a way for my siblings and I to share photos with my elderly parents. My first thought was a shared flickr account - but I found that the interface had too many tiny clickable icons, and the photo thumbnails were also small. Parents are old, and have no built-in conception of the mouse as an input device, or tabs / folders / links / etc. as metaphors. But my dad successfully navigates the "smart" radio/cd changer in his 2015 model car, so I believe I can train him to wake up the computer, launch an app, and click on pictures. Parameters below... Parameters:

    1) simple viewing interface requiring no menu navigation, etc. Just pictures with captions. Defaulting to newest-first order is ideal.
    2) some sort of phone app which multiple people can use to contribute. (email is o.k., too)
    3) does not require photos to be accessible to the public, or mined by google.
    4) parents' computer is an aging imac.
    5) I hate Facebook.

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