The Most Important Sense

You may think that seeing and hearing are our most important senses. Yet a recent study by a professor and specialist of neurology revealed that the power of touch is unique and difficult to replace. After an extended study, he explained that people who lost loved ones, especially elders who have no one in their lives to hug or kiss them suffered enormous psychological damage.

Professor Linden interviewed an 88-year old woman among others. She’s been married for fifty years. She used to cuddle with her husband before falling asleep. She said that it kept her warm and relaxed. Her husband died twenty years ago. Since then she had trouble sleeping in her cold bed. Adding blanket, wearing socks or raising the room temperature didn’t help.

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My mother and her great-grandson who at 3y understood that Momom needed him.

Recently, in the nursing home where she lives the residents have been encouraged to mingle and build friendship, to hug and kiss. This has made a huge difference for her well-being and her companions’.

As part of the research, it was found that older people who receive professional massage are in a better mental health than elderly who are never touched.

Depriving babies of touch is a disaster. Growth is slowed and behavioral disorders emerge according to Professor Linden. Touch is crucial for forging that first emotional bond with a parent. The necessity of touch endures as we age. It is the social glue that binds parents with children.

One study showed that basketball teams that engage in more celebratory touch, such as high fives and chest bumps, play more cooperatively and win more games.

So don’t be afraid to touch and hug people you care for. And don’t hesitate to have your hero and heroine kiss.

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Fearless reporter, Roxanne Ramsay, doesn’t think twice before traveling for important assignments, even in a war zone. But her last trip led to a life-altering mistake.
Getting involved with the strong-headed and too generous reporter involves more complications than Dr. Greg Hayes faces in the OR. Yet what wouldn’t he do to save the love of his life ?

Old age can be terrifying for those living alone! #mgtab

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Last year, my ninety-year-old mother-in-law took a bad fall and ended up in the hospital. This woman had been living alone in a little house that she managed with a lot of help from her angelic, next-door neighbor. With me visiting every few days to take her shopping and for lunch treats so she could get out of the house, things were working out…. just.

We had been urging her for years that she might think of looking into choosing a care home because she was going downhill quickly. We suspected mini stokes but being very stubborn and quite foolish, she refused to see the doctor. Laughed and told us it was old age. No doubt, she was right but some of her symptoms were happening overnight and in my mind, old age tends to be a slower—a lot slower. But there was no talking to her when she adamantly refused to listen. All she wanted to do was stay in her own little house until the end. Said if she had to go into one of those old-folks homes, she wouldn’t last a month.

Turns out, that’s not true. After her fall, and her hospital time, she ended up permanently in a wheel chair, and her hands, which had been giving her a lot of trouble, now refused to work. Again, I’m thinking more mini-stokes, which the doctors eventually confirmed. So, we had no choice but to arrange for her to be in a home knowing that way she’d get the proper care.

Since she’d always refused to seriously look at facilities, we were forced to take the first bed available in a residence closest to where we lived. Thankfully, they had a very good reputation and the girls working there were known to be kind and gentle with the people in their care.

As much as our little rebel hated the idea of giving up her independence, she was now forced to depend on others for everything. And all we wanted was for her to be treated with dignity and affection. Thankfully, we did find the right place and I’m happy to say that they celebrated her ninety-first birthday yesterday with her caregivers fussing over her with a present and a song. Her happy tears were heart-wrenching and also satisfying.

I know it wasn’t what she wanted. To be forced into living the way she is now. But sometimes the higher power has a different road for a person to travel than the one they’ve planned. My prayers were always that she could find some happiness in her final years. I’m just glad it seems to be true.

Have any of you faced this situation and has it worked out well for you? I hope so…

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Because my mother-in-law was also a dear friend, I dedicated one of my favorite books to her called Loveable Christmas Angel. She was thrilled. And the book has always gotten great reviews.

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