Blog: December 2016

Communicating with Aging Relatives During the Holidays

The holiday meal is planned. Candles come down from the shelves. Presents are wrapped and cards addressed. We look forward to reconnecting with family. Often that includes elderly parents, aunts, uncles, and friends.
 
In our work with seniors and their families, we have seen many warm and easy relationships between older and younger family members. But sometimes the two generations have little in common which can result in long, uncomfortable, silences. Or there may be a difficult subject to confront, like finances or the need for in-home care. This can result in conflict. How can two generations bridge the gap and take pleasure in their visits?

A Client Story for Holiday Sharing

Bernice sent out holiday cards every year, and they were a big deal: she had a photo of herself in holiday garb and wrote a poem full of wit to go with the photo. The cards were sent to 200 friends and relatives, so there were lots of envelopes to address. As macular degeneration made it more difficult to see, the joy-filled project became a burden.
 
Then there was the tipping. In New York's large apartment buildings, as many as 20 envelopes needed to be prepared for maintenance staff and doormen. The newspaper delivery folks, the housekeeper, the hairdresser and others also depend on the generosity of their clients at the holidays. As the process of writing notes and addressing envelopes became more difficult and time-consuming, the enjoyment of giving to others dissipated for Bernice.
Share this with others: