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Caring for the elderly over the holidays

Home for the Holidays
Home for the Holidays
Songs that we love to sing!
 During the holidays many of us see family that we have not seen for a while. When it comes to our Elderly family (parents, aunts, and uncle’s family friends) we may notice changes in them. Such as Aunt Martha, who always made the greatest homemade candy and this year it did not taste as good. Dad's car was always spotless, now he has a big scrape on the side of it. Mom's hair was always done to perfection, but it looks like she forgot to comb the back. These things may seem harmless or not a big deal, yet they can be representative of a "Big Deal". It may be that physically or mentally they are not able to keep up with the daily activities of life. It could be due to failing eye sight, or that physically it is too much for them to take care of themselves or that they are becoming forgetful. When we notice these changes what do we do? Well maybe we need to visit them at home to see how other things are going. Is their behavior a pattern or is it a onetime incident? May be we need to arrange for someone to visit them more often. This could be a family member, a neighbor or a Nurse. Back to the scrape on Dad's car, how is his eyesight? Perhaps he has developed cataracts or maybe he needs new glasses. Could his reaction time have slowed down and should he continue driving or should we restrict how far he drives? What do we do about this? Well it might be time to make an appointment with his doctor and go along with him and bring up these concerns. The doctor can do a “basic assessment” to determine what the next step should be. You can also consider a visit to the eye specialist or to the neurologist to determine if Dad should still be driving.
   The other thing that I frequently hear from family is that they do not have the time to take the elderly to the doctor. This is a common problem. The older our family gets the more time they need from us. I try to put their needs in perspective after having been through this with my own aging parents. The last year that they were a live was very time intensive for me between doctor visits, well checks, calling them to remind them to eat, or getting the call at work that they have lost the remote. Yes is did take a lot of time, but now I am so happy that I had those times with them. Mom died in February it will be 4 years ago and Dad passed away last March. If he called today about the remote I would be so happy to help him and go look for it. This holiday season is the first one I have had without my parents and I do miss them. But I am happy that they are no longer confused, frustrated by how poorly their bodies are working and their lost of independence. I am most happy that I did everything I could to make those last year’s happy and meaningful for them and for me.
 

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Although it's a lot better for most people to spend the holidays with their family and friends, I find it even more comforting when we spend it taking care of elderly people. Holidays especially Christmas are special and you can make it more special by making elderly people happier on this day.
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People usually like to spend their holidays with their families and friends. But it is also very important and necessary to take elder people of our family and spend some time with them and try to make them happy.
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