Family and the Holidays

As the holiday’s approach and we start to spend more time with our friends and families, we tend to notice the subtle – or not so subtle – changes they may be experiencing. When this happens we start to get concerned and wonder what, if anything, we can and should be doing to help them.

Sometimes the easiest answers, and a great short term solution, can be to see about having some help come in to their home.

Let me give you an example. You see your family member’s house isn’t as clean as it usually is and you notice the food in their fridge is looking sketchy and past date. They assure you everything is fine. That the food is fine and they have just been too busy getting ready for the holiday to do their usual household upkeep. Yet, you still think something is amiss.

You are likely correct.  Their home and maintaining it could be starting to be too much for them to be able to handle. Hey, let’s face it, the older we each get, the longer it takes us to do the things we used to wiz right through. Our energy levels and stamina change over time and with age. It’s natural and it happens to every one of us.

This could also be a warning sign that their eyesight is changing and maybe they don’t see as well so they don’t notice the dust, dirt or even the fuzzy food. On the food thing, depending on their age, they could be depression era kids or post-depression era kids. This means they grew up in scarcity and learned to make the most of everything and to not be wasteful. This is very different from how the younger folks think today.  You are correct in being concerned about them getting sick from eating it. They will likely not be concerned about that at all.

The lesson here is that I think you can benefit from understanding where they are coming from. Lots of things we do in life are because of life experiences and how we were raised. If you understand the why, it makes empathizing and moving forward a bit easier. It helps us to be less critical of them and less likely to say things that cause them to get hurt feelings, become defensive and stop listening to us. The goal is to help them and to find a solution, not to make them mad at us and ruin their holiday.

Okay, so, you noticed changes. You are concerned. Now what?

Well, you can always talk to me and we can formulate a plan.

You also need to talk to them. It’s their life and their issues that need the attention. Their feelings also need consideration when approaching this. So remember to approach the conversation from a place of love and be open to their thoughts and feelings.

Most importantly, you likely need to consider who can help. Often times, consulting with an in-home care provider can be a decent option. In my interview with Laurel Trahan, owner of Age at Home, an in-home care company, we have talked about how to introduce a helper into the home and the many benefits of having the extra set of eyes and ears there to help understand the bigger picture of what could be going on with your loved one.

Here’s an excerpt here from our interview. Just click the link and watch this segment of the larger video.

What I’m trying to do here is to give you a tiny glimpse of what is available. I also want you to know that just about all of us go through this at some point in time or another. If you don’t it’s because you have a fantastic sibling who is likely handling it for you! If this is the case, using the Thanksgiving holiday to let them know how much you appreciate all they are doing is a lovely idea.

Anyway, if you notice things that concern you about your loved one over the holidays, please keep an open mind, an open heart and know that you have resources at your disposal to help you navigate the waters ahead. That is what my business is all about. Helping you find confidence and control in life’s toughest situations.

Just call or email. If I’m the right person to help you, I’ll let you know. If I’m not, I’ll head you toward someone fantastic like Laurel who is in the right position to help.

Please know, there are many solutions or potential solutions. If you think in-home care is or is not the right option, that’s okay. I’m presenting it here as an option. Good luck and I hope you have wonderful holidays full of brightness, joy, love and laughter. And, should you experience some concerns, please know, you are not alone, we are here to help!