Caregiving During the Holidays: Have a Realistic, Positive Approach
…Each year after Thanksgiving, I would make my rounds, decorating each elder’s apartment or nursing home room, planning how we would split our time between the visits, and striving to meet everyone’s needs. The guilt over taking so much time from my kids ate at me. The guilt over my mother not having the Christmas celebration she so coveted ate at me. My mother-in-law did not seem to care, yet I knew that deep down underneath the dementia, she did. The frustration of trying to “celebrate” when my dad no longer knew what we were trying to do made me want to throw in the towel. Yet, to ignore or minimize this time of year seemed all wrong. Onward I marched, trying to make the holidays sing for people who couldn’t hear.
The squeeze of generations and the countless needs of each leave little time for caregivers to think of their own needs. Members of the sandwich generation know this dilemma well. Prioritizing our own health and enjoyment winds up feeling like just another task, so we knock it to the bottom of the to-do list and keep on doing for everyone else…
Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. “For anyone having to walk the last segments of life with a loved one, read this.” …Delores
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