Newsletter Winter 2011

A Word from the Managing Director

Have you noticed how quickly time moves along? With the holidays fast approaching, I see busyness all around. People rushing and shopping and stressing. Many struggling with either health or financial concerns and if you have both, then I am hoping that whatever or whoever you turn to at this particular time of year, can assist in making the burden easier. While we often associate spending holidays with family, this can be particularly difficult if you are alone and /or have lost someone close to you. It can also be a challenge if you are living with a family member in poor health or one who no longer remembers your history together. Perhaps this is the time when new traditions can be started. While reflecting on all the goals either accomplished or still on the list I am pausing to say thank you- to all the wonderful families with whom we work and the great team of professionals with whom we interact on a daily basis. My very best to you and happy holidays.

A Cup of Care: A Pinch of Hope: Spending holidays with a family member who has dementia. If you are visiting with and sharing time with a family member who has dementia, the challenge is with the expectation. I am reprinting an article that I previously wrote which provides some suggestions on reducing the expectation and in the spirit of starting new traditions. The Alzheimer’s Society notes that often caregivers must deal with feelings and emotions that arise when remembering past holidays when their family member was well. They may also feel overwhelmed with trying to maintain holiday traditions while keeping up their care giving responsibilities. They may worry about visitors who don’t feel comfortable around a person with dementia or about meeting expectations of friends, family and themselves. They may even feel guilty for not being able to get into the holiday spirit.

The person with dementia may have an equally difficult time coping with the holiday season. They may find that they feel a particular sense of loss at not being able to participate the way they once did. They may find it difficult and anxiety inducing to deal with the influx of guests and the change to routines. If you find yourself in this position, there are things that you as a caregiver can do to reduce stress for both yourself AND those you are caring for.

Save A Life
Toronto Fire Services has created their own unique version of the holiday tune, The 12 Days of Christmas – it’s called The 12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety. It is an excellent resource as it reminds us of the little things we can do to help prevent household fires.

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