Aging in Place / Saying Thanks

Elderly female aging in place


…hate to see the evenin’ sun go down, makes me think I’m on my last go-round.

~ W.C. Handy; “St. Louis Blues”

Aging in Place / Saying Thanks

For so many of us caring for aging parents, visits to emergency rooms, doctor’s offices, intensive care units, and clinics are a part of our everyday lives. The call comes night or day, your loved one is in trouble and needs help immediately; we all know what this heart-stopping experience is like.

Often this is the first venture into the bewildering universe of chronic care. This can be confusing, frightening, and just downright scary…You’re not prepared, and it never comes at a “good time.”

In my long career as an acute care RN in ICU, coronary care, and trauma care/life-flight recovery, I often saw acute exasperation of chronic conditions over-and-over—we called this (in the colloquial language of healthcare providers, or the “privileged code”) “Frequent Flyers” because of the repeated encounters of older adults with the acute care system.


My family recently had just such an experience with a beloved and cherished Aunt. The care she received was not just lifesaving, but respectful and extraordinary. I’m asking all caregivers to acknowledge those who keep our elders alive and well to live and love another day. A batch of homemade cookies, a card, a note, go a long way to letting healthcare providers know how much you appreciate their care. Below is a note I wrote to the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at Oregon Health Sciences Hospital after they saved the life of my Aunt:


To the Wonderful CVICU staff on behalf of Ann Aylward and family…

We are deeply grateful for the care and earned expertise with which you treated our beautiful Aunt Ann.

No one knows the private victories and the daily acts of heroism (both small and large) that go on behind these curtained rooms—but you do. What can get lost in the routine and daily life of nurses, doctors, and support staff is the fact that you save life and invoke the will to live in others. More life means more time to LOVE…and in the end that’s what makes life worth living.

Today, at some point, reflect on this—what you do matters…And we are fortunate you decided to take this path.


Here’s to Life, Patrick Roden, Julie Roden, Cecelia Roden


Being a nurse myself I knew goodies are often the best way to show appreciation. The Carrot and the dark chocolate mocha coffee cake delivered to the CVIC Unit also helped (smile).

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