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Tag Archives: holiday survival guide

Caregiving, Cruises and Mrs. Haversham


As the holidays approach I have mixed emotions on what to expect from Mom during the festivities. This past week end we hosted an epic baby shower for my son and his girlfriend. I considered it a dress rehearsal for the upcoming holiday season. With my new addiction to Pinterest and vintage shabby chic decor (see how I made them on my website), I think I went over board on the decorations. I made so many that ...

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Your Holiday Survival Guide


You sit expectantly by the window in your living room, watching for the blue van that brings your daughter and her family for their visit. Although the holidays are hectic, this is the part of the season you relish: The opportunity to see those family members and friends who rarely drop by anymore. These visits mean a great deal to you; for a few hours, you can be someone other than a caregiver. You feel ...

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The Chocolate’s Okay, But I Melted!


The room spun. Heather found herself looking at the turkey in the oven; two empty pans on the stove; her husband, in his wheelchair, handing her a potholder; and her daughter and her family coming through the backdoor—all with muddy boots. She’s not sure what did it for her: The empty pots which reminded her that she had forgotten to make the mashed potatoes and gravy; her husband, spending his first holiday season in the ...

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Where’s Your Brother? He’s The One I Really Want To See…


It’s the holidays! What would a good, decadent, calorie-laden meal be without a case of red face, churning stomach and steam pouring from your ears? There’s no time like the holidays for a good dose of button pushing. And, your family members can push your buttons like no one else. How often do your buttons get pushed? Take our quick test: 1. It’s time to carve the turkey, which you’ve purchased pre-cooked from the local ...

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Holiday Stress Busters


You’re already walking your “holiday” walk—slumped forward, as if the weight of planning and preparing for the holidays rests squarely on your shoulders. The approaching holiday season is stressful anyway, but with your concerns and worries and caregiving responsibilities, the stress can be overwhelming. When planning for this year’s holiday season, keep in mind the real purpose of the holidays: To celebrate your faith in your way as well as to enjoy and celebrate our ...

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Ten Signs an Aging Relative Needs Help


A holiday visit may provide a closer look into your aging relative’s life and routine. And, sometimes that look yields concern. Your aging relative may need more help if: 1. You find that some bills, such as for utilities, have been unpaid. 2. You find a stack of unopened mail. 3. The refrigerator is stocked with old food; you can’t find any fresh groceries. 4. Your aging relative has lost weight and appears gaunt. 5. ...

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Your Wish List: What Do You Want?


It’s coming: The holiday season. Unfortunately, stress and frustration seem to come as well. As you think about the upcoming holiday season, consider: What do you want? Perhaps you’d like a year off and would like another family member to host a holiday. Or, perhaps you’d like to host a holiday (it’s easier than transporting your caree) but you’d prefer that the meal be pot-luck (everyone brings something). Perhaps you’d like to enjoy a meal ...

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Keep Your Cool When You Get Side-Swiped


Often, the relatives you see the least can be the family members who try your patience and sanity the most. It’s your husband’s sister, who calls only twice a year, but insists on chastising you for not providing the “best care” for her brother. These encounters don’t seem so bad over the telephone. But, face-to-face, well, those are the run-ins you just dread. Keep in mind that these relatives can’t understand or appreciate the role ...

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A Podcast: Managing Holiday Stress

During the holiday, you can feel like the wishbone everyone pulls at.

In 2008, I held a teleclass on Managing Holiday Stress. I pulled it up out the archives today so you can download to listen on your computer or your smart phone or mp3 player. I’ve also added it to our Holiday Stress Guide. Before listening to the podcast, consider: 1. What you dread about the holidays. 2. A wish for yourself. 3. A wish for your caree. (Pre-2010, we used the term “care recipient,” which ...

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Bah Humbug? A True Tale of Christmas


For some reason, we believe the best time of the year should be the holiday season: When we enjoy friends and families, receive wonderful presents, eat amazing food without gaining any weight. Sounds like a Christmas tale, doesn’t it? It seems expectations imposed on us—from advertising on television, in department stores—that the holiday season is full of love, joy and diamond bracelets. But, what about the brother who questions your motives in caring for your ...

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