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The holidays are coming closer and I suspect there’s a wide mixture over how various Sandwich Generation senior home care givers are feeling about it. Some of us are looking forward to it with total glee. Others are in the place I was the year my dad passed away. Our joy and anticipation in the season is tempered by sadness in dealing with our aging parent’s declining health.
I remember going to a Thanksgiving church service and being blessed by the joyful songs and the adorable children’s choir, then going home straight into a new crisis resulting in a trip to the emergency room. We never made it to the church’s Christmas programs which are often one of my favorite holiday traditions. The Hospice program helped so much, and also kept me so busy during that time period. There are many sad memories, but also many blessed ones, like how the kids helped out so wonderfully during the difficult situations, and how his great-grandkids could bring a smile to my dad’s face that little else could do. I especially loved how sweet my parents continued to be with each other during this hard time. It was definitely not our normal holiday season, but it was a blessed season of life!
Other senior home care givers are dealing with aging parents struggling with long-term chronic illnesses such as cancer. Last year, at the end of the holiday season, I read an interesting article by Melanie Haiken, from Caring’s website, How to Celebrate the New Year — with Cancer. It was such a good article, I put it on my calendar to be sure I shared it with you during this holiday season, well before New Year’s! Even though her focus is on cancer, I suspect that much of it is true for most of our aging parents with any kind of debilitating illness. Of course, you always want to check with your own doctor to be sure, but this article should give you some great questions next time you take your aging parents to the doctor’s office. If you aren’t going before the holidays, you could give your advice nurse a call and check with them.
After reading this article of how much our aging parents can probably do during the holiday season, I was greatly encouraged and I hope you will be too.
What about you? Do you have any tips to share with us on how to combine senior home care giving and the holiday season? We’d love to hear them. 🙂 And be sure to sign up for the SandwichINK free email with plenty of resources to inform and encourage you during the holidays and beyond.