Finding Thankfulness Amid Challenges of Senior Living

Yup, even November can be a challenge for a senior’s body and soul.  So many things happened this year:

  • Friends and/or loved ones have died.
  • Others are experiencing illnesses.
  • Caregiving threatens to drain that last bit of energy.
  • Family members are so busy with their lives they may not notice.
  • Worries about health, finances, or family are affecting sleep quality.

So how in the heck can we be grateful? Maybe it’s time to get back to simple things.  One common denominator we can all appreciate is life —even in all its struggles and blessings.

Spending time remembering good things from your life and people who were there may help. You may want to look through old pictures and relive those times which made you smile.

As you find that place in your heart’s memories it will be easier to return to your present day situation with a grateful spirit sprinkled with hope.

Caregivers Face Special Hurdles in Giving Thanks

Sometimes I’ve had to sit down for this one. Even though my caregiving duties have continued to grow, I have somehow found there are always reasons to be thankful:

  • for help gained from medical professionals
  • for friends and family who show caring
  • for fine memories of the 33 years my hubby and I have together
  • for resources and services I’ve been lucky enough to tap for assistance
  • for my health—though compromised — I’ve held up pretty well.
  • for each new morning since my late sister once reminded me that “the sun does come up”
  • for moments when I can breathe, think, and even do nothing, and for my growing ability to keep finding those opportunities.
  • for music, nature, and simple things which add a bit of sparkle to my life.
  • AND of course, dark chocolate!

Ways to Simplify Your Thanksgiving Celebration

If you cooked a feast for others for years like I did, maybe it’s time to go a little easier on yourself:

  • Eat out — Many places do a superb job of serving a great feast.
  • Order a pre-cooked meal with your favorite choices. It can be delivered or you can pick it up Thanksgiving morning. Go online and be surprised at all the wonderful ideas! Or Google home-delivered Thanksgiving meals. Catering can give you the gift of more time together with those you love.
  • Help friends or family with a potluck. That means you only take one favorite item. Let others enjoy being in charge.
  • Accept an invitation to someone else’s feast and take one item you make or buy.

This may be a good year to accept that there are manageable ways to reduce the work load while keeping cherished experiences which Thanksgiving can bring. Your celebration doesn’t have to be labor intensive to be splendid. In fact, a bit of relaxing and enjoying the company of others may be just what the doctor ordered!

In the end, let Thanksgiving be about good times, fine food, and making memories. It can be helpful to have some help. Papa can provide another set of hands to run errands, keep you company, etc. A college “grandkid for a day” can give much-needed infusion of youth which we all know is welcome for us seniors.

Wishing you and yours a calm observance of the holidays this year.

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