Sunday, December 25, 2016

Aging Parents. Holiday Depression. When Chanukah and Christmas Share the Same Day


At a joyous time for so many who are young(er) and an emotional time for so many who are old(er) and have suffered loss, one wonders whether having the first day of Chanukah begin on the exact same day as Christmas compounds the number of lonely, sad, depressed people in the world. 

Countless articles and studies about holidays bringing on depression are available. Advice for sufferers and information about available support exist in abundance. Googling "holiday depression" produces 1,220,000 results. Even here, on this blog since its inception, holiday ideas for helping elders feel supported, cared about and loved exist. 

What do we know and what can we do to reduce holiday loneliness in those we care about? Speaking personally--which I try to avoid--is my onIy option. I know from my counseling training that I can't be objective when my husband died just over 6 months ago. That's the reason for the larger gap of time between my last post and this. I simply couldn't figure out how to write on the subject again. With a different perspective I've reread my prior posts and can comment. (Click links below and check out ideas.) 

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving and the Circle of Life: Transitions--2016

                     Traditions and Transitions Impact Aging Parents
                                   and the Elders We Care About

Last year my annual Thanksgiving post focused on turning over a tradition, hosting Thanksgiving dinner, to the next generation. For me it signaled a major transition. We had hosted Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends since the first year of our marriage--whether we were in the East, West, or Southwest. Little did I know that now, a year later, my husband wouldn't be alive. But since I'd relinquished the Thanksgiving tradition last year, being a guest for Thanksgiving this year was easy and welcomed at a time of many transitions that aren't always easy....or welcomed.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Help Aging Parents: Halloween--a Treat for All Ages (updated 2016)

Taking aging parents and elders we care about to see the Halloween displays
Who doesn't enjoy Halloween decorations! They're becoming increasingly widespread. Indoors and out-of-doors these decorations are so much more elaborate than the orange, carved, candle-lit pumpkins--and perhaps a black cat or witch-- sitting on the front porches of our childhood homes. However.....aging parents and older people we care about may not have the pleasure of seeing them. Here's how to remedy this--

Whether in the country or the city, various-shaped, and even white-creamy-colored-pumpkins, along with Halloween themed inflatables--plus ghosts skeletons, and witches--are common sights.

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Halloween Pumpkins

Friday, October 21, 2016

Old Parents, Breast Cancer Surgery and Dental Work: Options–Do All, Less, or Nothing

Is it Better to do Nothing or--at least--Less?  
and A Woman Rejects Mammograms at a Certain Age

A friend just drove to upstate New York to be with her 70-some-year-old mother who was having a lumpectomy. While her mother didn't want her to make the trip, she was glad to do it so she could help out a bit. That's what daughters do, right?

I thought about Sr. Advisor, R, who in her early 90's, decided against any more mammograms--period. Her rationale: if they found something suspicious she wasn't going to do anything about it anyway, so why impact her life with knowledge that would only cause stress and concern--for herself and for those around her. When R died in her sleep at 101, it was assumed old age was the reason.

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Lifting Aging Parents' Spirits in the Fall--6 Ideas

Fall foliage and Walkers in Central Park 2015

Do we notice mood changes in elders when less daylight makes days feel shorter? 

September 22nd. The beginning of Fall-- the Fall Equinox. Hours of daylight lessen. Days feel shorter. Darker days darken some people's mood. Clearly the elderly aren't immune and may be even more at risk if they live alone or are inclined to "see the glass half empty."

The idea of cozy, apple cider, pumpkin pie and beautiful fall foliage may be off their radar--replaced by gloom, doom, and loneliness as they contemplate--literally--darker days ahead

Adding some spirit-lifting ideas for this group has become tradition for Help! Aging Parents. But we're a bit earlier this year and why is that?
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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Image result for "I get by with a little help from my friends sheet music image
Caregiving. Caregiver support. One size never fits all. We have our own ways of approaching and handling things.That said, a reference to this Kiplinger's magazine article, Pitching In When Caregivers Need Help, was glaring at me as I began moving older Newsworthy articles from the column at right, to "Newsworthy Archives" (above). Having just gone through months of what qualifies as "caregiving," I'm thinking the idea for finding additional help as offered by Kiplinger's  three listed sites below may appeal to many.
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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Help Aging Parents–and Us! PINs & Passwords

Picture this: Our with-it aging father banks online and has a smart phone. But we don’t know his PINS (personal identification numbers), passwords or where–or even if–there’s a list of them somewhere. This didn’t trouble us when we bragged about his ability to use new technology, but it becomes a gigantic problem when a health event that affects his memory occurs–namely: he can’t remember his PINS or passwords.

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