Ask the Nurse and Preserving Dignity | Alcohol Awareness Month

They're losing enough; don't take their dignity too.

by Christine Hammerlund, President of Assured Healthcare and "Mother"

Part three of a four part series about Christine Hammerlund and her Mom.

When a person becomes less capable of caring for themselves - or even functioning as a thoughtful adult - your first reaction as a loving adult child is to take away every choice they have. Don't.

Don't treat Mom as if she was a child, even though her behavior is childlike. It is very important to maintain their dignity.

My Mom is a very dignified person. She's has earned the right to have that dignity respected and supported.

Especially with dementia it is hard to tell what a parent is absorbing, and what they are not.

I've found with Mom that she remembers more clearly when it is important to her. So, if you talk down to her, she'll react negatively. Again, I try to give Mom some household responsibilities that she can handle to help her feel she's a vital part of the family.

It is very important to me that Mom continues to do what she can for herself for as long as possible. I think it strengthens her independence and preserves her dignity.

Next month, part four and the final piece in our series: It's your Mom. You didn't expect her to surrender her sovereignty did you?

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Be aware of how much alcohol is being consumed.

Be aware of how much alcohol is being consumed.

Drinking too much alcohol increases people’s risk of injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease, and some types of cancer.

If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting. Here are some strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking:
• Limit your drinking to no more than 1 drink a day for women or 2 drinks a day for men.
• Keep track of how much you drink.
• Choose a day each week when you will not drink.
• Don’t drink when you are upset.
• Avoid places where people drink a lot.
• Make a list of reasons not to drink.

If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking, offer to help.

For more information visit National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence website: