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Getting the Most Out of Your Winter Holidays

No matter what winter holiday you observe, these ideas may help to get your dose of happiness for the season:

One of the most challenging facets of managing Christmas is our difficulty in "seeing the forest for the (Christmas) trees."

If the hustle and bustle of accomplishing Herculean tasks involved in tripling our social schedule don't get us, then the necessity of smiling while experiencing extra frustrations surely will.

A major roadblock to our letting our tinsel of happiness shine during the Yuletide is the myth that it must shine all the time.

Learn by Watching the Tinsel

Ever notice the tinsel on your tree?  It alternates between dull and shining phases.

It would be hard to really feel the shine if there weren't moments and spaces without the shine to provide contrast.

Because it's the holiday season, we suddenly quite allowing ourselves the much-needed full range of human emotion, and insist that joy and happiness are all that's allowed this month.

No wonder depression increases with the season.

This gunny-sacking of negative feelings can end up bursting and casting a shadow on a person's fun and self-image.

Guilt sets in because a person is not able to be happy all of the time, as the season seems to indicate.

Even the excitement and happiness takes a toll on seniors and caregivers alike.

Relief and calmness are often called for along with an acceptance of the possibility of disappointments.

These are at times part and parcel of the season's happenings, as they are a natural part of life the rest of the year.

Empower Negative Feelings Along With all the Joy

Discussion about negative feelings reduces guilt and tension and prepares us to cope with such occasions.

Perhaps attempting too much happiness for ourselves in a short time can cloud our perception of what happiness really is.

The accompanying tension brings behavior and feelings that make perceptive people wonder if all this Yule Gruel is worth the effort!

A step in the right direction would be to let the tinsel of feelings have freedom of movement in ourselves, then in our children.

Express the same range of feelings as you do the rest of the year.

Try saying no without guilt to the events, which may bring you too much pressure.

Continue the Calm Rhythm of Routine

Budget your time so you're not dragging yourself around at the expense of eating, resting or customary closeness to friends and loved ones.

If you usually sit a bit before going out for the evening, do it even if it makes you late for the engagement.  Such routines help us survive daily life.

In addition, alternate exciting and calming activities so excessive tension doesn't build up without the relief valve of restful moments now and then.

You'll know you've wrestled with the "Spirit of Christmas Too Fast" and won:

  • If you can encourage yourself and your family to continue being yourselves.
  • If you're listening to your own drummer and not that of the media, storefronts, or even neighbors and friends.
  • If you can realistically aim for more cozy times than hard times.

AT FINE MOMENTS, here and there, you'll be privileged to catch a glimmer of tinsel shining and realize you are shining that Christmas tinsel!

It would be worth considering ways to reduce stresses of the season.

One way would be to enlist the services of Papa.com and enjoy the many ways a college student could ease the pressures of the season, or just help fill the loneliness so many feel this time of year.


Father and daughter

Safety for Frail Seniors Who Come to Your Home

When inviting an elderly or frail senior to your home, it would be worth taking some precautions to ensure they can enjoy the occasion to the fullest without mishaps or fear of safety issues.

Planning to Have Frail Senior Guests in Your Home

When you are hosting events at home, plan for any frail guests. There is a need to consider handicapping conditions and other issues that could cause safety risks.

When a senior is worried about safety and is uncomfortable, it is difficult to have a good time.

By looking at the guest list, it can be determined which older adults may be at risk. This could include balance, the risk of tripping or falling, difficulty standing, and challenges with stairs or step-downs.

Remove throw rugs and work to make walking spaces free of electric cords and other clutter or any short standing objects that could present a fall risk to seniors with a reduced visual field or issues with balance.

It may help to move any statues or other standing items back to allow for more walk-through space.

Do a safety walk-through of the spaces your guests will occupy to be sure their wheelchair, walker, and/or cane friendly. Imagine yourself with a mobility issue coming to the place for the first time.

Take a look at decorative items, inspecting them for danger. Art, which protrudes from the walls, can be a challenge, especially in a dark hallway to the restroom.

Making Your House Safe for Guests at Risk for Tripping

Mark a spot in the driveway for this senior. Keep the parking area free of clutter, which could trip a walker who is unsteady. Move yard waste, which can precipitate a fall.

Be sure there is adequate lighting, both outside the house and inside including hall areas.

Night lights may help in this regard. Use a flashlight to personally escort this guest to and from the house to assure safe access.

Sidewalks need to be maintained in order to be visually available to the guest. If possible, avoid the stairs, but if they are part of your plan, keep them uncluttered and lit.

If your house has any steps either on the porch or by the entry inside, pay close attention to being nearby and giving verbal warnings as the frail guest navigates them.

The same applies to a sunken living room, as this can be a minefield to a person with a limited vision or balance issues.

Due to both allergies and risk of falling, dogs and cats need to be kept in another area as this person may have trouble when a pet runs in or out of their intended path.

Although these transitions may seem easy to you, they can be both frightening and hazardous for certain people.

Providing for the Comfort of Elderly Visitors While They Are in Your Home

Be sure the doorbell is in working order and respond to it promptly. Don’t rely on yelling; “Come on in” as people with reduced hearing may not hear that.

Also, make the doorbell accessible with adequate lighting and not blocking it with plants or objects of art, which can make it hard to reach.

If possible, install a higher toilet seat and/or grab bars to make the bathroom accessible. Thes

e raised toilet seats are affordable and can be found in the local hardware store.

Also, keep some type of light on in the bathroom. A lamp or bold night-light may help here.

In the sitting area, provide some chairs that are not too low to get out of easily and be sure that they have arms to make getting up easier.

If the guests are going to watch a DVD offer English subtitles. Those with a slight hearing loss may be grateful. Also, visual learners benefit from and appreciate the extra visual input.

 

When serving a meal, use a table of standard height with suitable chairs. Many modern tables are bar height with chairs o high that feet can’t touch the floor, and there may be no arms to hold onto while steadying oneself.

In making the menu, provide at least one alternative to spicy food as some older adults have tender digestive systems.

One option is to provide the spicy portion of the meal as a separate and well-marked dip or sauce to add as desired.

It is better to provide extra safety measures than not enough and regret it after an unfortunate incident.

Also, the comfort of seniors in your home can be vital to having a good time. Often they will not tell you they are miserable, but you may not have another opportunity to entertain them if they are uncomfortable.

Since there are so many holiday events, winter is a crucial time to deliver safety along with the punch and cookies!