Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Harried Holiday

Like many of you who are caregivers my brother and I are deciding what we’ll do for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Depending on the extent of your caregiving responsibilities you may be adjusting your schedule to for visits to care facilities, in-home visits, giving medications, what foods can be served, what activities you can be involved in, when you get to sleep, what confrontations (family and others) to anticipate, possible emergency room trips, clothes to pack (yours and others), hygiene rules and a list of other issues and contingencies.

Remember when all you had to worry about was having enough food and who’d get hurt playing touch football in the back yard?

If you let all the things that worry you…worry you…every special time becomes a drudge.

Try thinking about it this way: What do you have to be thankful for? This might be the last holiday season you have with the person for whom you care. And don’t feel guilty about hoping that’s true. Just recognize the fact.

If you have a restful moment, be thankful for it. If you are healthy, be thankful for that. If you can put gas in your vehicle, lay your head on a soft pillow, get a hug FROM ANYONE, enjoy a bite of turkey, feel the sun’s warmth, take a walk or raise a glass in toast of life, be thankful for it.

As caregivers, what we do is stressful but necessary. Most of the time, if we had a choice, we’d choose not to have to do it. But, we’re here. The experience is what it is and the best thing we can do is be thankful that we matter.

Have a great Thanksgiving.

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