ASK THE HIPPIE
The journey that caregivers are on when caring for someone with Alzheimer’s/dementia is full of mystery, self-doubt, and loneliness. This column offers a chance to reach out, seek new ideas, and by reading about the experiences of others, learn that you are never alone.
By Phyllis DeLaricheliere, MS
‘Tis the season to be Jolly! The holiday season is traditionally the time when we look forward to getting together with family. We all head to Grandma’s house, where what awaits us are the smells and sounds of holidays past and the gratefulness of another year together. But we all know that the holidays can also be a stressful time of year. Through the hustle and bustle, we need to be aware of those family members who are caring for someone with Dementia. They often feel overwhelmed, lonely, isolated, and depressed.
What can cause some of these feelings? The holidays bring with them traditions that provide continuity throughout the years from generation to generation—a sense of connection and belonging. Our loved ones with dementia no longer can recall these traditions, and this can cause a heightened sense of loss for our family members. Yet we need to remind our memory-impaired relatives that they can still participate, and that remembering the traditions for them is our privilege.
So how do we prepare for the holidays? As a caregiver of someone with dementia, what can you do to get ready for this season and approach it with love, joyful anticipation, and laughter? This is NOT a time for mourning, but a time to celebrate another year that we are blessed to have our loved one with us. So here are some tips to help us get ready:
For moments are what we have.
About the Author: Phyllis A. DeLaricheliere, MS is a sought after speaker/educator and is getting ready to publish her book: “Embracing the Journey: Knowing your Inner Hippie.” Her passion for finding solutions to the dementia epidemic has turned into a crusade and she is humbled to be able to touch so many caregivers out there that she respects so much. To book her for a lecture or get on her pre-published waitlist for her book, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. ∞
Reprinted from the December 2019 edition of the South Shore Senior News