Monthly Archives: December 2017

Helping Your Elderly Loved One Celebrate the Holidays

They say there’s no place like home for the holidays, but if your loved one recently moved into an assisted living facility, they may be feeling like they’re missing out. Today, Choice Health Management is here with some tips on how you can help your loved ones celebrate the holidays no matter where they’re living:

Decorations:

Hopefully, your loved one saved their Christmas decorations when they moved! These often have strong memories tied to them, and can help your loved one feel like they’re in a familiar place. Set aside a date when you can come over and help them set these sentimental objects up. If they have trouble getting around, your assistance (and company) will be especially appreciated!

Traditions:

Try to keep as many traditions as possible. Some may not be feasible in their new living arrangements. For example, if they usually hosted large gatherings, they may not have the space to do so any longer. However, if you decorated cookies together every year or went on annual shopping excursions, you should try to keep these up. You may need to make some accommodations if they have mobility issues, but these can be easily solved with items such as walkers, rollators or mobility scooters.

Use Sensitivity:

If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or Dementia, they can be easily confused. Decorating their room with new items could cause them to become agitated. If, however, you do have some objects from their past, it can actually help them with their short-term memory. Just realize that sometimes, nothing you do can be quite right. In those situations, go easy on yourself and your loved one. Their condition is difficult on both of you!

Remember to take an evening to yourself every now and then. It can be tempting to go overboard during the holiday season, but you don’t want to burn yourself out. In the meanwhile, we’re here to make sure that your relative is able to enjoy the holiday season in comfort!

Words to Say To a Loved One Who Has Lost Their Independence

Phrases meant to encourage may have an opposite effect if they’re mistimed or misinterpreted. This can be especially true if your loved one has recently had a life-altering medical incident that has left them unable to care for themselves. Here’s some inspirational words you can use to help encourage a loved one who may have recently lost their independence:

“I know how you feel.” But you don’t.  Express empathy and interest by asking them to put their experience into their own words, which allows you to show support through active listening.

Try instead: “I can’t imagine everything you’re going through, but I want to try. Can you tell me about it?”

 “This could have been so much worse.” A phrase like this can easily come across as “you’re being ungrateful.” While you’re thankful they’ve survived, they may be weighed down by loss, frustration, and the fear of an uncertain future.

                Try instead: “While I’m glad you’re still here, I’m sorry you have to go through this.”

“Here, let me do it.” Your loved one is still getting a sense of what they can and cannot do independently. Give them a sense of control by asking them to delegate help when they decide they need it rather than hopping in when you think you do.

                Try instead: “You do what you can. Tell me when and how I can step in.”

“It’s time to start moving forward.” Your perception of “ready” may be lightyears different from your loved one’s. Though they may need a nudge if they’re resisting change, their opinion is the one that ultimately matters.

Try instead: “I know what you’re capable of and don’t want to see you get stuck in a less-than-best version of yourself. What are you willing to try today?”

You have their best intentions in mind. ­­Now put the best words in your mouth. At Choice Health Management, we can give your loved one the long-term care they need if they’ve become unable to live on their own. Schedule an appointment with us today to see the Choice Difference!