Christmastime Shocker

Helping Loved Ones in the In-Between Zone

We hope that you had a great Christmastime and a very Happy New Year!

Many of you spent Christmastime with Loved Ones, eating Christmas turkey, opening presents and just enjoying the day. Perhaps you spent a part of your day with your declining parent and helped them with their daily tasks.

However, some of you spent part of the day in shock! What do I mean by that?

A few weeks ago Cindy & I visited with the staff of a Nursing Home where we did a “Lunch & Learn” (which we do almost every week). This is a 1 hour or less educational event where they eat and we talk. This is not only great for my diet, but it constantly reminds me of the challenges that a typical Nursing Home staff faces on a daily basis. As I have said many times, no one ever wants to go to a Nursing Home, but when a Loved One is in desperate need of a skilled level of nursing care, most folks are glad that this service is available.

Shocking Christmastime Realization

But I digress – back to the being in shock part. At this particular facility, the Nursing Home administrator and staff appeared more frazzled than usual. When I asked what was happening, they said they were experiencing a huge influx of incoming residents. When I asked what caused this surge, the administrator answered with one word – “Thanksgiving”!

I won’t even bother contacting them today because I know they will be experiencing the same phenomenon again, except the word will be “Christmas”. Why does Nursing Home admissions spike around Christmastime and other major holidays?

Because the out of town kids who have not been home since last Christmastime or Thanksgiving come home and are in shock! They talk to Mom every week by phone and she sounds OK to them – then they come home (and as Paul Harvey used to say) “see the rest of the story”.

“The Rest of the Story”

Many of these kids flew in or drove several hundred miles to come home and have to be back at work on Monday! This doesn’t leave much time to gather some information, conduct a hastily disorganized family meeting and make some tough decisions.

Some families are fortunate enough to have local Adult kids and other local family who can help. However, most work, have families of their own and may have little time to devote to the cause. Some have the financial resources available to pay for non-medical home care to help care for their loved one.

However in some cases, it totally caught them off guard and the matter is severe enough that they only viable option they can think of is Nursing Home care. Granted, in some cases, the family makes a Nursing Home decision when other options would have been more appropriate.

The sequence of events that happens in many cases is as follows:

  1. They Adult Kids come home and are surprised;
  2. They have very little time to react/respond appropriately/plan;
  3. So they call a local Nursing Home and Mom is admitted.

Thinking About a Different Course of Action (in advance)

What could have / should have happened in many of these cases? Stay tuned – we’ll talk about that in upcoming posts.

I know that some of you experienced this scenario or something similar this year. If you would care to share, what you experienced and what your family did or is doing to help, please let us know in the comments below!

We want to be friends!

Ok. That might come off a little fast, but you can trust us. We want to help! We fully understand the stress and turmoil that you are facing as Family Caregiver – including personal experiences with burnout.

In our time as caregivers, we have amassed a wealth of knowledge that we desire to pass on. We understand the emotions involved while making necessary preplanning and caregiving decisions. Likewise, we have met many professional caregivers (like Alzheimer’s Caregiver Phil Smith), as well as other family members who were thrust as Family Caregiver. All caregivers have shared the same advice – Join a community! There is nothing more cleansing for our situation than knowing that we are not alone!

We have since created Caregiver Connection. Caregiver Connection is a newsletter that we write personally and send to fellow Caregivers. It is full of tips, tricks, direction and even professional advice. If you would like to sign up, click the button below.

Please Invite Someone to Our Newsletter

Being an Adult Kid who is helping mom as she is declining can be a scary, frustrating and lonely place lacking stability. You feel like you are solely responsible for solving Mom’s problems while managing yours. Some occasional input and a community you can trust would help, especially when facing burnout! This is a way that all of us can be working together as caregivers!

Many others that you may personally know are having to figure it all out by themselves. Most of them have no community. Please take a minute and do them a favor. Copy this link ~> <~ and send it to them in an email or private message. They can click on it and subscribe to our newsletter for free.

Then they can enjoy weekly tips and encouragement. They no longer have to feel so alone in their family caregiver journey. They will appreciate the favor! Thank you for thinking of them!

About the Author

Doug & his wife Cindy have not only helped hundreds of families with their estate planning and elder law needs over the years, but have personal experience as caregivers and advocates for their Loved Ones as well.

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