Have a great Christmas with your family.
Have a great Christmas with your family.
Reminiscence isn’t new. Before the printing press, storytellers and bards were how history was recorded-
Oral storytellers gave us the Odyssey and another valiant tales. History exists in their family, and Ulysses or Penelope might be sitting at your barbecue this coming holiday- in the form of your aging parents.
But storytelling only works if the teller remembers the lines. Family history has to be captured when the older person still remembers. So holiday events are a perfect time to tap into that font before it flickers.
Here are some tips to use if they want to capture these family tales during the coming festivities with aging parents—a perfect time to do this.
1. Use empathetic listening. This means to make all the messages you are are giving the older person— tone, how fast you speak, how they are sitting- all saying, “I want to listen to them.”
2. Ask questions that prompt the story but don’t make judgments. If there are going to record the family tale, do it in a way that doesn’t distract or stop the older person from talking.
3. Start somewhere. If the elder isn’t going to tell stories on his or her own, start the story and see if they will follow along.” What did you do on Christmas day. Did you open gifts at a special time?.” What was your favorite food on the holidays” ” ( you might ask before and make that special cookie and offer it to them?
Enjoy a food that is a family tradition or specialty, particularly ones that have an element of memory attached from family celebrations perhaps?
Here are two technology tools to help you with this legacy building for your older client or family member
7. Use Quick Voice Recorder to catch the memory on your phone
8. Use some prompts for questions to ask that will help older people reminisce
Reminiscence is part of a whole new domain in aging called quality of life or attending to the older person’s need for joy through activities that stimulate the mind. Reminiscence does that but find out more about how you can increase the quality of life of older people after the holidays and all year long
Subscribe to my Youtube channel
Long Distance family members are caregivers under constant stress. They have been flying or driving to both visit aging family members for a long time. These caregivers at a distance usually understand that their parents are deteriorating with age and are savvy enough that they have researched options and already found you on the web ( a reason to have a great website).
Perhaps when the family gathered on Thanksgiving and everyone saw problems with an older person like memory loss or ambulation problems- the family may agree to call a care manager. Or the very stress of the holiday season on top of caring for an aging parent long distance may push the designated long distance care providers over the edge to seek help and call you.
More than 7 million American Families care for older family members from afar. This holiday season many of those long-distance families will come home to an elder Mom or Dad’s house and find a scene they saw coming but still fill them with white fear.
Unpaid bills litter Dad’s desk. He refuses to go to church when he was a devoted churchgoer all his life. When the daughter put the post-turkey leftovers in the refrigerator she finds moldy food on every shelf. When asked about the bills and the moldy food, Dad gets really angry when he was an easygoing guy all his life.
At that point, the daughter may pull out her phone and call an aging life or geriatric care manager because she cannot fly home without getting help. Are you ready for these desperate calls?
Give frantic adult children hope when they frantically call this holiday.
So be prepared for their inquiry and know the needs of long-distance families well plus the resources in your area that you can suggest in your inquiry call. Do not give away the store in your call but let them know that you are an expert in the needs of long-distance care providers and an ace navigator in your area that can find services and choices that are perfect for their needs.
Subscribe to my Geriatric Care Managment Youtube Channel Geriatric Care 1
Four types of aging families, who can afford geriatric care management and home care long as they have the financial resources, will call you over the holidays. Mom is unable to pull off the ritual of either Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas or New Years or usually all four.You need to have excellent clinical skills to manage these families- get them through the holiday season and stabilized as the ongoing client after the first of the year.
The first two are dysfunctional aging families and take extensive psychodynamic skills. The last two are nearly normal aging families must have the crisis solved and shown tools and resources to arrange care in the future. Many times they can handle themselves after you have established care and a GPS to access the future care they need. But they may also want to remain as your clients for you to manage their care.
Part of this is drawn from Claudia Fine and Nick Newcombe excellent chapter ” Entitlement in the Aging Family”, Care Managers Working With the Aging Family, Jones and Bartlett)
Entitlement in these families usually develop from a specific kind of “not good enough parenting” in which the parents themselves have struggled with personality disorders, most typically, in this type of family, narcissistic borderline personality .( example President Trump)They struggled with borderline personality that went undiagnosed or was formally diagnosed and untreated. The narcissistic or borderline parent essentially does not experience the child/children as separate and discreet from themselves and, moreover, uses the child/children to serve parental needs. This parent-child relationship is characterized by severe boundary issues in which seduction and abandonment are ever-present dynamics and where emotional unpredictability and instability are constant. ( Fine and Newcombe- Entitlement in the Aging Family, Care Managers Working with the Aging Family)
Rich and Famous-Entitled Families:
These families are identified by the parents’ socioeconomic, financial and political prominence. ( example President Reagan)They are families in which all basic needs, services, resources and creature comforts are obtained via income, assets, abundant discretionary cash flow and/or come from the political position, station or power. Once again, the entitlement of the family is passed from the parent to the child who in turn brings these behaviors and actions to the caregiving milieu and care management relationship. In this category, the entitlement arises out of a family that is accustomed to purchasing everything. They look to paid others to meet their needs (as opposed to families who must themselves find and orchestrate ways to meet basic and complex needs themselves or with the help of the extra-familial system). Often these families have household staffs, i.e., nannies, butlers, drivers, private pilots, cooks, and maids. They may have available to the business and family lawyers and accountants, as well as, teams of medical professionals and concierge physicians. Consequently, in almost all situations they are uninvolved in processes, especially those that are difficult, stressful and time-consuming. ( Fine and Newcombe- Entitlement in the Aging Family, Care Managers Working with the Aging Family)
According to the New York Times, may be middle-class retirees who buy shoes from Payless but have a defined pension can afford care at home when they need it and private care management. They rode the post-war economy, held jobs long term and through that defined pension (no 401K) face a very healthy financial picture in aging. They worked for city, county, state government are teachers, truck drivers, social workers or were union members in all trades. They had a career at Xerox, IBM, Campbell Soup and big Fortune 500 companies.
Professionals- Physician, Attorneys, CPAs
This group made a very healthy living during the late 20th Century, probably had a defined pension and have very lucrative investments that allow them to afford home care and care management. They usually come from nearly normal families and have been well parented although you will find a mixture of dysfunctional aging families. Their adult children tend to be supportive of their parents, although again you will find a mixture of dysfunctional families in this category.
Holidays have traditionally been women’s job. Mothers are the high priestess of the ritual- like Queen Elizabeth without servants. The UK estimated the there are 25 to do’s women have on the holiday. It takes years to accumulate objects ritual dishes and religious objects used. It takes the left side of your brain executive skills, plans and organize, remember details, does things based on your experience. Holidays are often done on autopilot –recalling all the jobs that must be done year after year. It also takes IADLs- (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living) meal planning, shopping, plus ambulation. Then add depression – widowhood, loss and you have the challenges of aging in managing this entire titanic ritual.
At this point when Mom cannot do all the maybe 75 subsets of holiday preparation and the torch has to be passed and an adult child (usually an adult daughter must take over. This is like secession, – Princess Elizabeth taking over for her Dad, King George, (who hated it and had a lifelong stutter) made famous in The King’s Speech who was handed the throne by his brother Edward who quit being king.
Baby boomer- adult children and the aging parents are unprepared by their own culture for this new developmental phase of passing the torch. They do not expect it, like they did the nights of the crying newborn or the rebellious teen and are thrown off balance by the sometimes sudden and usually unexpected loss of their anchoring aging parents, like when they find Elderly Mom is unable to pull off running the holidays
Indeed, what must happen in this new developmental phase is that the adult child must evolve beyond the needy child, (I will still have Mom pull of the holiday as she always did) he or she has been, depending on his or her parents for that fiscal, emotional, social support and ritual organizing
The baby boomer must transition to what social work pioneer Margaret Blenkner calls filial maturity or a new mature state where they, as midlife adults, can give up their former roles as dependent, needy children and start to provide care to their old/old parents, like managing of officiating over the Christmas or Hanukkah celebration.
In the normal healthy family system this filial crisis of Holiday rituals can be overcome and the adult children with the brief help of an aging life or geriatric care manager so they can let go of their former dependent roles and confront their parent’s loss by organizing and providing care. They can take over Christmas and Hanukkah by stepping in and grabbing that torch.
In the dysfunctional aging family, this filial crisis is incredibly hard to trounce from both the parents and the adult child’s point of view. The really need a geriatric care manager’s services
SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL GERIATRIC CARE 1