Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgivukkah!

There really is a lot for which to be grateful, this year more than ever. Here are a few things, not in any particular order:
  • The last of my kids have gone off to college and appear to have chosen well.
  • My entire family will be home for Christmas this year.
  • Stud and I are happy and healthy.
  • I’m writing again.
But most of all, I’m grateful that whatever else mom’s Alzheimer’s throws in her path, she’ll be safe for the journey. My Thanksgiving prayers go out to those still in the daily throes of care giving. Do what you have to do and say what you have to say to get everyone through - including yourself. If you know someone who is a caregiver, don’t let them disappear into that world without coming up for air. If giving them a physical break isn’t possible, provide a mental one. Here are some things to consider doing:

  • Offer to visit with the person they are caring for so they can run small errands, or even take a nap. 24/7 is physically and mentally exhausting. Even if all you can offer is 1/2 hour every now and then, that time will be rejuvenating.
  • Email. Call. Drop a note. (Does anyone do that anymore?) Don’t give up trying to reach the person. Set up a time if that’s what it takes, but please don’t get upset if it falls through. People with illnesses, physical and/or mental, don’t adhere to schedules.
  • If you do connect, let them vent without judgment, or sometimes worse, unsolicited negative opinion. Solutions that sound ridiculous to you may work like a charm. The caregiver is in the trenches, fighting the daily battles. They have a much better understanding of the war as a whole.
  • Send flowers or an edible arrangement. Anything small will do, and it lets the person know you are in their thoughts.
  • And last but not least, be patient. Realize that even after the care giving comes to its end in whatever form that takes, the caregiver will need time to come to terms with it and to rejoin their own life in progress.
(Getting off soapbox and putting it away to enjoy my own life in progress)


Amber Skyze said...

Happy Thanksgiving, DD.

Dalton Diaz said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!