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Annie’s Mailbox: Bathing schedule adequate for mom

Mon., March 21, 2011

Dear Annie: My 94-year-old mother and her 99-year-old sister have decided they only need to take a bath every three days. Getting in and out of the tub is not the problem.

I realize that someone as sedentary as they are might not need to bathe daily, but surely every other day is a better solution. I told my mother she will smell like an old lady, but she is guided by her older sister. Please help. – Worried About Mom

Dear Worried: Older adults do not need to shower daily, especially since the skin can become sensitive and dry. As long as your mother is washing those areas and folds of her body that require daily care, her bathing schedule is fine. If you notice an odor, you can then bring it to her attention.

Dear Annie: This is for “Grumpy Quitter,” who promised to stop smoking. I was a heavy smoker for 40 years. When I started as a teenager, cigarettes were 11 cents a pack. They now cost more than $5.

In 1984, I got hit in the mouth with a pole and ended up losing all my teeth. One evening, due to my cigarette cough, my upper false teeth popped loose. That’s when I decided to quit. Much to my surprise, I did. My secret was not to quit at the end of the pack, carton or month, but to quit right now. If I don’t smoke that first cigarette, I won’t be able to smoke the second. This February marked the 23rd anniversary of my quitting. That partial pack of cigarettes is still in my kitchen.

Unfortunately, I didn’t quit soon enough. I developed emphysema and C.O.P.D. (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). It’s no fun being hooked up to oxygen. I also have poor circulation in my lower legs, but surgeons won’t operate due to my damaged lungs.

Two of my friends tried my method of not smoking that “next one” and managed to quit. There are better ways to spend your money than on hospitals and medicine, plus you’ll live longer and be healthier. – Proud Quitter



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