Many seniors struggle after hospital stay

Many seniors struggle after hospital stay

Five years ago, I could not comprehend how my father’s two-day stay in the hospital resulted in a three-week stay in a skilled-nursing facility and a permanent decline in his functional abilities.

My father had Parkinson’s. At the time, he also had a form of low blood pressure that occurs when you stand up from a sitting or a lying-down position. It can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded.

The condition can even cause you to faint, which was what happened to my father and what precipitated the hospital stay.

My mother called 911 and my father was taken by ambulance to the emergency room and later admitted for observation.

Before his hospitalization my father could walk with a walker, he could assist if someone helped him off the toilet, he could feed himself and he was cognitively fit.

After two days in a hospital bed, 

Meditation by kayak

Meditation by kayak

I’ve recently rediscovered my enthusiasm for kayaking.

In the past, I kayaked on a pond in Cape Cod, on the Charles River in Boston and on Westlake Lake.

Those excursions were journeys of calm exploration.

I’ve also kayaked in the ocean in Santa Barbara and near the Channel Islands.

Those treks, on the other hand, were stress-filled, water-soaked battles with the currents.

If I were seeking a good physical workout, ocean kayaking would be my choice, but what I really enjoy about kayaking is how meditative it can be for me.

After my often inelegant entry into the kayak, as I dip my paddle into the water, I’m immediately filled with a sense of contentment. The act of kayaking is nourishing and healing to my soul.

I am with nature, surrounded by trees, water, birds, clouds, the sun and the sky. I am using my arms to power myself, doing something good with my body. My mind is quiet, and I am present in the moment.

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