The holidays mean different things for all of us; time with family, a celebration of religious values, or an opportunity to show appreciation for loved ones with gifts… but for the elderly it can be a time of loneliness and depression. Those of us with busy and frantic holiday schedules may find it hard to imagine the month of December as a time of solitude—and perhaps some of us feel we would relish solitude at this time—but imagine for a moment that all the reasons for your frantic pace and numerous errands were suddenly removed. The silence that descends is not so comforting when put in that context.
We know how much our clients love their elderly parents and grandparents, and want to ensure that they are taken care of; so we would like to take this opportunity during the busy holiday season to remind you to make some quiet time in your schedule to visit those parents and grandparents. If you don’t visit often, and aren’t sure what to do during a visit, eHow has some good tips for making the most of your time spent together. On the other hand, if you know you won’t be able to go visit grandma or grandpa in the nursing home, why not include them in the family celebration at home? The Comfort Keeper’s blog gives some good suggestions to draw the older generation into the busy preparation and festivities.
And remember, your holiday visit to grandma or grandpa can have more significance than just to bring holiday cheer. The holidays are a good time to check on the health status and living situation of your loved ones, to ascertain if they may need more help around the house, or even in-home care. Caring.com provides a list of things to look for to help you determine this. Include your elderly relatives in your festivities and you’ll find that doesn’t only benefit them; you may come to appreciate the company and wisdom they have to share as well.
You might even try using your visit(s) as a time to record your elderly relatives’ recollections and family history. You can start by using a simple recorder or, better yet, why not a video? You can take your time, and add to it on subsequent visits. Our attorney, Gene Osofsky, took 2 years to record his Grandmother’s story, over multiple visits, some lasting only 15 minutes. Once you start, it is easy to continue. That recording has now been duplicated for every family member and is now one of his family’s treasures.
Our office hopes the holiday season is a time of warmth, charity and togetherness for you and your entire family. Happy Holidays!