With all that senior caregiving involves, there is really only one rule of thumb spoken by Miss Mary that has stood the test of time – Make mine a double, Pussycat. One evening after a day of work focused on preventing various disease states, I nipped by Miss Mary’s house for a hug, kiss, Johnny Walker Black on the rocks and a quick visit to ensure everyone was all right.
As I opened the downstairs door with a “Hello Mama,” Miss Mary was crouched down on one knee at the foot of Great Aunt Clara’s Med-Lift Comfort Lounger. Great Aunt Clara’s left foot was extended and resting in Miss Betty’s hand. “Hold steady.”
Miss Mary was peering through a gizmo held in her right hand. One part magnifying glass, one part flashlight, one part nail clipper. As seen on TV, Miss Mary was attempting to get the clippers positioned around Aunt Clara’s toenail for a do-it-yourself pedicure. The nail file and pearl nail polish were in easy reach on an aluminum TV Tray circa 1950. Why pay to have your nails done when you can do it yourself? Cheaper is always better.
There is the possible exception of when your 98-year-old Great Aunt is on a drug to thin her blood to prevent deadly blood clots from forming and traveling to her heart or brain. No matter how well designed your nail clippers, one cut with the razor sharp edge, and Aunt Clara would bleed profusely without the ability for her blood to clot and stop the bleeding. Conjuring up images in my mind of a Saturday Night Live skit with Julia Child cutting herself and covering the kitchen in unstoppable blood from floor to ceiling, I said, “Mama, let me help you.”
And from that moment on, I drove Miss Mary and Great Aunt Clara to the podiatrist. We set joint appointments and they picked a handsome foot doctor that they both liked and left me in the waiting room to catch up on email, exactly where I belonged. And the best part, Medicare paid in full and no one had to spend any money.