Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Care Partner Wednesday--The 12 Ways of Christmas (pt. 6)

There's a lot of counting happens at this season. Have you noticed that? Advent calendars countdown until Christmas, merchants count the days until Boxing Day and then extend it a week or longer, and we count down to New Year's. All this counting can add a lot of pressure to our schedule as the deadline looms closer.

Care Partner, is anyone counting on time for you?

11. Take care of yourself 

This is an old drum I'm beating, but only because it's advice difficult to follow. All of your focus tends to be on your loved one, and it's hard to justify and even harder to ask for time for yourself. It may seem obvious, but we still struggle with care partner stress and justifying time for us, so here's a few reasons why it's important:
1) You're not a nice person when you're stressed. Patience wears thin and you say things you don't mean in a tone of voice you wish you hadn't used.
2) You don't enjoy the experience when you're worn out.
3) You tend to miss the magic moments--those special times where clarity and wisdom meet and you catch a glimpse of who your loved one used to be.
4) It's a short walk between feeling tired and unappreciated to depression. A walk you want to avoid.
5) Stress is unhealthy und can lead to all kinds of physical implications.

So, what's fun for you this season? Do you like to shop? I can't imagine it, but I've heard there are people who do. Do you enjoy baking, spending time with children or grandchildren or curling under the twinkling lights of the tree with a good book? Whatever makes the season for you and rejuvinates you, identify it and take steps to make it happen. Ask for an hour from visiting family or arrange for a friend to give you that gift of time. Don't feel guilty or apologise for asking. You are investing in you today so you have more to give your elder tomorrow.

12. Good things come in small portions

At thanksgiving this year, I cooked a turkey and all the fixings for our residents. The fixings included stuffing, cranberry sauce, two vegetables, potatoes and gravy. Even when serving small portions, plates were loaded because a little of each item added up to a lot. For some, it was overwhelming. Be aware that most elders have small appetites and pare the meal down to those essentials that make it enjoyable. Sometimes just a taste of a favourite is enough.

It's almost time. Gather all the ways of Christmas and create a memory together this year that all of you can hold close to your hearts. Merry Christmas, all!

Care Partner Wednesday--The 12 Ways of Christmas (pt.6)

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