Travelling with Elderly

Hi there,

If you could still recall a post I made about an engagement, yep, this is the subsequent post I promised.

As I’ve mentioned, I traveled with two dependent elderly. It wasn’t easy and very tiring but just like a mother who feels only joy at the birth of her child, I did too when my granny was all smiling.

It was not easy to get my granny out of her house. She worried too much of her hens.  roosters and of course her house. Somehow, she agreed to join us. My mom, uncles and aunties were of course very happy. They can now have a proper family outing after so many years.

Well, of course they had to think a step ahead just to ensure that my granny had fun. So here are some few tricks when travelling with elderly:

  1. Sweaters, thick clothes, socks
    • Especially if you’re riding an airplane, the airport could be a wee bit too chilly for them. You wouldn’t want them to catch a cold. At first they mightn’t feel cold but they’ll thank you later.
  2. Sweets, snacks, water
    • Just like babies, they might experience ear discomfort during the take off. Prepare something for them to suck such as sweets or whatever it is that match their likings.
  3. Diapers, tissue
    • More often than not, they were too embarrassed or find it too difficult to answer the nature’s call. So they held it in and in a matter of time, they’ll find it a little too late. So, before travelling, it is highly encouraged if you could familiarise and train nana and poppa to wear the diapers.
  4. Wheelchair
    • Some elderly still have their ego in them. They might reject the idea of bringing it to everywhere they go. Take my word, JUST BRING IT. We had the experience of wanting to bring it and told not to. What happened next was as we predicted. Luckily we brought one wheelchair because my nanny obviously understood that it would be more than just a brisk walk. In the end, they had to share the wheelchair – we had to make 2 trips to get back to our car.
  5. Elderly-friendly Accomodation
    • Undeniably, we can get all rough and don’t mind staying in an uphill resort but that’s not the case for them. What we did was, since they were 20 of us, we rented two double-story homestays. The elderly by default stayed at the ground floor bedrooms. We made sure to have the bathroom nearby their rooms when we made the reservation. I can proudly say the both of them were happy with their rooms. Oh, also make sure to have another able person to sleep with them because they might wake up at night for a drink or even to go to the loo.
  6. Medications
    • Of course! THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. Assign someone who can be their PA throughout the trip. Remind them when to take their medications.
  7. ‘Personal Assistant’
    • Can’t deny it. We can get too overjoyed and forget about them. This is when having a PA could be so much of a help. It needn’t to be the same person all along. Be sure to have someone specific to guard them. For example, my cousins and I wanted to go for a food-hunting whilst the rest wanted to stay home, so we politely asked one of our aunty to look after the elderly. The next day, when our parents went shopping, we stayed at home and watch over our nanny. Similarly, when we were all out and the young ones went to ride something challenging, we had our parents to wait with grandmom (because they obvs were not keen on the idea of extreme sports).

I guess that’s pretty much it. As you can see, they are not much different from handling toddlers. So, be extremely patient and helpful. It will be worth it.

Until then, peace be upon you.

T.W.M

Tuesdays With Morrie

It took me almost half a decade before succumbing to the idea of reading this book. It started when I noticed that my friend listed this book as her all-time favourite – and if I’m not imagining things, she also said that this book is life changing.

 I wasn’t sure if I’d like the book as much as she did. We had different personalities and we didn’t really share the same interest. I liked Ed Sheeran, she prefered Linkin Park. I like Harry Potter, she watched documentaries. In most things, she was always ahead of me. The only thing that I was probably better was sports – I played more sports than she did. Ironically, we were best friends. Perhaps this is the law of opposites as discussed in the book.

The book didn’t really get me in the beginning because, let’s be honest, I hated the fact that Albom didn’t visit Morrie though he promised that. Sooner than I expected, I realised that I am doing it too. I promised my pre-U teachers that I’d visit them but I haven’t done it till today. I had my reasons, so did Albom. The only difference is that my teacher mentioned me on her Facebook (yes, we’re friends on Facebook), asking me to visit. Twice.

Love others or, perish. That’s tough love. I realised that I am full of hatred. In this book, Morrie told Albom to forgive himself before forgiving others. It’s hard, really. First, people very rarely admit their mistakes. We blame others – I blame others for failing. Mothers blaming doctors for wrongful pregnancy. Parents blaming teachers for their children misconducts. When we refuse to embrace, we’ll never detach. Morrie encouraged us to deal with it and move on. We’ll never proceed if we’re overwhelmed with regrets, thinking of how things could’ve been if we didn’t take the step. I know I did – Would my life be the same had I listened to my heart? I have to let it go so that I can embrace a new journey, to see the open doors instead of the one that’s closed for me.

I can’t blame others when they’re just physically present during meet-ups. The art of communication is dying with every passing day. People talk via social medias. That’s just how things work now, don’t they? This book tells us to indulge in every conversation we’re having. To be present. During discussions or conversations made over a cup of coffee, we shouldn’t be messing our head with things that we have next or things that has happened before. The only way to connect is to give one’s full attention. Gotta say, I’m quite good at putting in the “oh”, “urm, what do  you think”, “really” and producing seemingly genuine laughter when in fact, I drifted away most of the time. It’s just me. I got lost easily.

I’ve reflected so much whilst reading this book. I have to say, my friend was right when she said it’s her fav book. I think I’m fond of it too. Things I wrote are just a few of the gems. Like Morrie said, it’s never too late.

Till then, may peace be upon you.

Maggie 2

Miss Stewart is rushed to the school infirmary. A stack of thick files fell on her fragile frame. Luckily Miss Stewart is already expecting another staff, Mr Albert. It was Mr Albert who alerted the nurses. As for Mag, she is escorted by a prefect to her room.


The birds are chirping and the fresh smell of freshly mown grass after rain are Mag’s forte. It is a lovely morning in the new environment for Mag. She puts on her khaki pants paired with loose off-white knitted sweater since the weather is quite chilly. It’s almost spring. Mag explores the school compound. Class will only commence in two more days.

The school has three major buildings; the girls’ building on the right side, the academic building is in the middle and the lads’ is on the left. At the centre is the infamous Espionnage square. The students believe that whoever walks across the square would fail their exams – absurd but it helps to keep students from ruining the landscape. There are tulips, roses and peonies planted in the square to form a circle outlining the school initial; AI which stands for Avicennia Institution.

AI is head by Professor Prescott. He is recognised nationwide as a respectable yet humble man who fought for education and thorough human development. Prescott is tall with broad shoulder and decent build. Mag can see him through his window office. Unexpectedly, the Professor turns to his window and notices Mag. He smiles at her and takes a sip of his drink. Then, Professor Prescott returns to his work.


“Blimey! What has got into your head Hannah?! You’re all dirty now! Let’s get back to your room and change. Ughh.” “I’m sorry but I can’t just sit back. I have to help the duckling to be with its moommmm~” Two girls walk pass through Mag in hurry. One of them is covered with mud while the other is fumed with anger. Hannah accidentally bumped into Mag. They both lose their balance and fall on the wet soil.

To be continued…

Maggie

A 16 years old girl standing at 5 ft. 4 in. with silky straight black hair, brown almond eyes, sharp nose and bow-shaped lips is looking flustered at the corner. She might not be the prettiest but she has decent features and athletic build – minus the extensive muscle bulk and prominent abs. Her name is Mag; Maggie J. William.

“Sweetheart, have you got your keys?” asks Miss Stewart to Mag. Miss Stewart is a late 40s college advisor. She is wearing a cat-eye glasses that suits her oval face. She doesn’t look her age. Miss Stewart’s motherly voice and warm smile relaxes Mag.

“Yes, but I haven’t got a clue where my room is. I missed the tour group and am waiting for the next one” Mag explains herself. “Oh dear, that was the last for today.” Mag is perplexed to hear Miss Stewart’s response. Miss Stewart pauses for a minute and talks to someone on her phone.

“Oohhh… Shame on me. I haven’t introduced myself, have I? I’m Miss Stewart, the students’ advisor and will be taking care of you and your friends throughout your stay here, so that’ll be a brilliant 4 years. Yes?”  Miss Stewart smiles again, flaunting her straight pearly white teeth. “… and what’s your name again, darling?”

“I’m Maggie Williams but you can call me Mag. Nice to meet you Miss Stewart”. “Likewise. Now, I’ll be taking you to your room but would you mind if we stop at my office on our way?” says Miss Stewart; not really looking for Mag’s approval but is just being courteous.

 


 

“Have a seat, please. Help yourself with the chocolates!” Miss Stewart bubbly shouts as she walks into another room filled with files. Mag is left alone in Miss Stewart’s office. The office isn’t too big but looks very comfortable and spacious enough for Miss Stewart and a couple of guests. Mag looks into a bowl filled with chocolates; there are Hershey’s, BonBon, Mars, M&M, Cloud9 and Snickers. All of Mag’s favourite. The snacks outpour the bowl  and to Mag least ethical conscience, she starts to take one each. “Well, Miss Stewart wouldn’t notice it because God knows how much she has in this bowl”, Mag trying to wash away her guilt.

While she’s savouring her guilty pleasure, Mag hears a loud crashing sound.

To be continued.

A year older

I celebrated my birthday yesterday.

Haha, I find it awkward to just write that but I thought I should write something about it.

Bruno Mars, 24K magic song (put in on play because that’s the theme of my birthday this year)

I didn’t have an extravagant celebration yesterday. It was really a me-time. I had all the time for myself and was able to do whatever I want to.

Having said that, I went to a nearby mall to buy a pencil since exams is around the corner. Things were going fine until fate twisted it into a funny day.

I didn’t find a pencil there, they only sell pens. Well, what do you know, pencils are obsolete now. So, I went home. As I was walking, I heard a ‘pop’ sound and instantly I felt cold liquid running down my leg. I STEPPED ON A PACKAGE OF EXPIRED KETCHUP. It was gross because the air made it sticky. Guess what, I just bathed before I went to the pencil-less mall and now I’ll have to shower again.

So, I went to my room. I search for the key in my pocket but it wasn’t there. Then I started rummaging my school bag, it wasn’t there too. I had to knock on my mate’s door because our rooms are connected at the washing chamber and balcony. Luckily she was in her room.

I had to wash the pants I was wearing. Guess what (again?), the spoiled ketchup had a strong scent. I felt like I was in some roadside stall eating char kuey tiow.

But that was it. No cakes at all but I was happy enjoying some alone time.

Thank you to  those who wished my birthday.

Till then, peace be upon you.

 

Hiking

I went to hike, again.

The last time I went hiking was couple of years ago. It wasn’t that high though but it was a good experience for a beginner. But I learnt to hate it because I didn’t like the itchy-tingling sensation whilst going down the altitude. Some said it’s my fat burning but I doubt that.

This time, it’s a different story.

It just felt right to hike after 2 days without exercising. I was not disappointed in that sense. I went there with 4 other friends and the journey to the place itself is almost an hour. Then, we spent another hour and a half to reach the peak. Some of the path is very steep that I felt like giving up but not wanting to be a quitter, I curse my body for being so weak and I ended up reaching the peak. Yeay (?!!)

So, here are a few tips for a beginner, cause I am too.

1. Start early.

Especially if you aim to watch the sunrise. My friends and I started the activity quite late but we still managed to see the sunrise-if seeing it while we’re walking counts. Plus, when you go early in the morning, you’ll feel less tired cause you don’t have to deal with heat from the sun so much. Even if you do, it’s the beneficial natural vitamin D tanning treatment.

2. The lighter, the better.

Some experienced hiker, they don’t bring anything with them. They either jog or cycle, uphill. Which is insane.

But for a beginner, it’s of your best interest to bring water bottle and maybe a small packet of biscuit or energy bar. Trust me, you’re gonna get hungry once you reach the top. I did.

But that is all. Don’t bring extra load because you’d struggle to carry your own weight.

Luckily for us, there’s a guy in our group who had the experience and strength to carry our food. Which brings me to the next point.

3. Don’t go solo.

Unless you’re good at managing yourself and whatever it takes go alone, then skip this point.

Bring your friends together. They’ll help to keep you moving when you feel like quitting. They are there for a reason. I felt extremely exhausted and my steps were so small that I could stop anytime but then, my friend kept on saying, “We’re almost there! Just one more turn.” Yeah, he said that like 10 times and we reach the peak at his 11th time saying it. I was lied 10 times. Excluding lies given by some passersby.

“Uncle, how much longer is the trail?”

“Oh, not much. Another 1.6km to go”

“Uncle, is this it?”

“No child, go a bit higher.”

“(monologue) Nvm, I’ll just keep walking until I see it myself.”

By the way, uncle is just someone who looks like he’s at my father’s age or older. Not related by  blood and it’s a norm from where I come from.

4. Prepare yourself.

Out of the 4 points, this point deserves a detailed attention.

If you have never tried hiking, I’d suggest you try jogging first. If you can keep going at 20 minutes or more, then you’re in for hiking. If not, you’d prolly be a heartache to your mates because you’re gonna annoy them with your question, “Are we there yet?”.

Most importantly, the prep is for your own good. Get ’em muscles some preview of what’s going to happen over the weekend. This way, you can prevent muscle injury. Prepare your heart to pump more blood at once so you won’t faint somewhere in the nature.

Sleep well the night before. Forget late night movies. Give your body an adequate rest for next day hard work. Trust me, it laborious.

Well, basically those are it. Some tips from a newbie.

I feel like it’s a good activity for both body and mind. Your body becomes healthier, due to exercise and unpolluted air breathed in; and your mind becomes stronger because hiking requires mental strength, apart from physical strength, to keep you moving.

Until then, may peace be upon you.

Gym

Today is my first time ever to be in gym WITH an instructor. Plus, the session was free.

I have always wanted to work out in the gym. But it’s either too far from my reach or I am just too shy. In return, I jog at the park. Downside of working out in the park is, the terrible air pollution. I can’t stand cigar. Let alone all the uncivilized acts of spitting and littering.

Back to the topic.

I was playing volleyball with my friends and didn’t sweat much. So I decided to visit the gym. I jog on the treadmill for 20 minutes (reached my target) and saw my colleague doing something with the gym instructor. I decided to watch them and later, join them. The session lasted for one and a half hour. I didn’t realise it was that long.

The session was really an eye opener.

First of all, do not be shy. If you don’t know, ask!

I was exercising wrongly before. I could’ve injured myself. We need to know how to do things properly. For instance, there’s a correct way of doing lunges. All this while, I was just doing stretching and risked my precious knee. Plus, there is also a right posture to work out, proper ways of warming up and burning the fat faster without having to do a full marathon and yet lose nothing.

It’s never too late to do something good. You can always change for the better. Ignore the haters. You live for your own life. You’ll need to decide what is best for you. Well, I’m talking in this sense i.e. taking care of your health. Don’t worry if people call you names. You know that it’s vital to take care of your health.

Last but not least, stop being lazy and get started!

To a healthier life! God bless.

Till then, may peace be upon you.

 

 

Handful

Assalamualaikum.

It took me a few seconds to think of a nice greeting. Soon to realise that I’m a Muslim which means giving salam is the most appropriate thing to do.

Anyway.

I’ve been having issues with myself. It’s either a growing up thingy or it’s just a short-lived hobby. Albeit the reality having to study and revise, I kept on investing my time scrolling down Pinterest or watch YouTube. I’d be watching home makeover, cooking channel and to my surprise, make-up tutorial. Why do I surprise myself? Simple, I don’t do make up.

What I’m studying now is a total opposite to things that I enjoy watching/browsing. I enjoy both sides although they are of two different extremes. Haha, politically correct! I guess  Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde were like that too.

I wanted to do so much. I’ve been wanting to go home to cook so many dishes and reorganise the house. I even asked my sister to snap photos of the bedroom so that I can plan the ID. Awesome!

But the thing is, I haven’t succeeded in doing it once. I’d be a mashed-potato couch once I reach home. After all, home sweet home. Who would sweat when they’re having such a sweet, distressful time? I know I am very least likely to do it. Unless my parents call me to it. Trying to be a good daughter, aite.

I gotta get my priority set. Just a few more weeks to summer holidays. You can do this!

By the way, appreciate it if you guys can pray for my success.

Until then, may peace be upon you.