Adult children usually see their elderly parents soon on Christmas, Hanukkah, and Thanksgiving- all major holidays.
The Holiday Season is upon us. Thanksgiving, Hannukkah, and Christmas are all coming up when families gather around ritual gatherings. Adult children can notice their aging parents’ struggling with memory, and speech, and preparing those ritual meals. Then midlife siblings may be alarmed by any behaviors that threaten the normal order they always experienced.
When The Holiday Season is upon us ,the discussion will turn to aging parents. Thanksgiving usually involves alcohol. With a normal family, discussing this when alcohol is involved may or may not be a good idea. In an aging long-distance family, this would be the time to set up a family meeting via teleconference or Skype when everyone is sober. You could just ask everyone if would gather ideas and you can discuss it at that time.
With elderly parent’s decline- everyone’s independence is threatened and anger and frustration can be rampant.
If adult siblings did make a visit to elderly parents before Thanksgiving, it could have been bitter or sweet or it was just plain scary. This is why it is best to set up a post-thanksgiving meeting with all the siblings to discuss care, not when people are drinking more than they should on Thanksgiving.
Adult children may decide they must intercede or offer direct help, even if it is rejected. Then family members who do not live nearby become long-distance care providers, joining 7 million others in the US.
Offer to Facilitate a Telephonic Family Meeting After Thanksgiving
The frightening part often happens when you haven’t seen an aging Mom or Dad for a while. If midlife siblings live long distance, making an occasional visit can set off alarms, especially if they find aging Mom or Dad has gone downhill. If they call you, offer to facilitate the call using your family meeting facilitation skills, to create an agenda with the family, and keep everyone on the topic of parental care in the here and now, rather than fracturing into an argument about the past or old family wounds. With a care manager as a facilitator, they will find your value.
Get Ready for the Holiday Rush
WEDNESDAY, November 16th, 2022, FROM 2 PM – 3:30 PM PST
Learn how to create!
- Pre-Holiday Social media campaigns to reach worried caregivers
- Pre- Holiday-Materials about the warning signs that a parent needs help
- Pre-Holiday Marketing to help you sign up families who might face a serious decline in aging parents
- How to sell services to desperate post-holiday callers from Normal dysfunctional & long-distance family
- How to use tools to contain holiday chaos & arrange care in festive family fright
- How to move the family to New Year’s stability
- Position Your Agency ahead of Care Managers who do not have great pre-holiday marketing campaigns and lack the clinical skills how to work with Adult Children and families during the chaotic aging family holiday visit when adult kids find their aging parents need care
Cathy Cress MSW author of the Handbook of Geriatric Care
Find out more about how an Aging Life or Geriatric Care Manager can help.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel, Geriatric Care Management, at www.youtube.com/channel/UCaoHdozwS0RvKD23YPpuHIw
Visit my website at cathycress.com/
Follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/cathyjocress
Mothers are the high priestess of the ritual- like Queen Elizabeth without servants.
This sets up a filial crisis as women age. The UK estimated that 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. This eventually leads to a filial crisis and passing the torch.
Holidays are often done on autopilot
Women as they age –recalling all the jobs that must be done year after year get worn down in their assigned role as ” Mothers are the high priestess of the ritual.”
It also takes their 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 these entire titanic rituals mothers are assigned by society. Many times the aging Mom can no longer balance all these plates and the holidays shatter with the crashing ritual dishes.
When Mom Cannot do all the Holiday Preparation a Filial Crisis Occurs
Then the torch has to be passed and an adult child (usually an adult daughter must take over to resolve this filial crisis. This passing the torch 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.
WhenMom needs to Pass the Torch-Some Baby Boomers Kids Shocked
Baby boomer-adult children and aging parents are unprepared by their own culture for this new developmental phase of passing the torch. They do not expect it as 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, 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, he or she has been, depending on his or her parents for that fiscal, emotional, social support and ritual organizing parents, like managing the officiating over the Christmas or Hanukkah celebration and take on filial responsibility to avoid a filial crisis.
Geriatric Care Manager to the Rescue
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 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.
Geriatric care managers understand that the adult child must transition to what social work pioneer Margaret Blenkner labeled the filial crisis to 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.
Dysfunctional Family Do Not Want to Take Over for Mom
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. They really need a geriatric care manager’s services
11 Vital Clinical Tools For Desperate Families Post-Holidays
Thursday, Jan 6, 2022, 02:00 PM Pacific Time (the US and Canada)
Give frantic adult children hope when they desperately call after the holiday
Join me Post-holiday and learn how to come to clinically rescue concierge dysfunctional families who found coal in their stocking.
Learn how to!
- Understand the Dysfunctional Aging Family System you must enter to get care for elders
- Master 11Vital Clinical Tools you to solve client problems
- Take Six Clinical Steps Professional Must Take to Work with These Difficult Families
- Get care for aging family members when the dysfunctional family members resist
Find out more in the YouTube for My YouTube, Channel Geriatric Care 1
What is the Normal Family vs Dysfunctional?
The normal family is the hand grenade compared to the nuclear bomb of the dysfunctional family. When both are faced with a filial crisis with an aging parent being dependent and the adult child needs to take over they cower or explode.
Dysfunctional families have many characteristics.
They lack the ability to resolve conflicts and have frequent psycho-social blockages that prevent the family from growing emotionally. They fail miserably at moving through all family stages and orchestrating family rituals.
Most life transitions in the family, like birth, adolescence, and marriage have been very difficult to make, marked by a lack of support from the parents. Every holiday might have been drunkenly ruined. The parental figures are usually not in charge, nurturing, or able to establish establishes clear rules. They have never created an excel spreadsheet on tasks to do to orchestrate a holiday. Like a disease spreading down generations, they never knew how themselves, as their parents wrecked the holidays too.
Bad or just NO Family Leader
There are murky roles for everyone in the dysfunctional family with the chief role of the parent characterized by a lack of leadership of the family and the ability to nurture the children. Mom rarely became the high priestess on Hanukkah or Christmas, the family members generally do not believe the parent is there for them and can be depended upon. The dysfunctional family is colored by bloody strained relationships and unresolved conflicts and drunken ruined Christmas memories
Dysfunction Families Inspiration For Great Literature
is the inspiration for great literature. O’Neil’s wrenching plays A Long Day’s Journey into Night” portrays the most miserable of dysfunctional families. Alcohol, secrets that have been kept by all for generations splatter the pages of this great play like it does in all the ruined holiday’s children of dysfunctional families recall with horror. Prince of Tides a tale of a southern dysfunctional family gives us timelier glimpses of a family whose center can never hold together and whose blood oozes all over everyone from one generation to the next. Award-winning plays and films, like Tracey Letts August in Osage County about a ruined ritual funeral from hell when Julia Roberts tries to beat up drug-addled, drunk presiding mother Meryl Streep.
Burnt Latkes or the Christmas cookies-inflame the family
When Mom does not make the very small things she was able to pull off like the latkes or the Christmas cookies- she always made every Hanukkah and Christmas, or burns them to a crisp- someone else has got to be the cook, and resentments skyrocket – tempers flare – and the torch just might never get passed.
Someone must take over the holiday rituals
The family is again thrown into crisis. That means someone must take over and the dysfunctional family has no model or spreadsheet to pull off the holidays while caring for a parent who did not care for them.
PRISON INMATES AND NURSING HOME PATIENTS NOT 6FT APART – 6 FEET UNDER
70% of inmates in federal prisons have COVID-19. In Kansas, the Lansing Correctional Facility had a riot of inmates over COVID-19 lack of care or protection It took the rebellion to get the coronavirus testing PPE and care. The Bureau of Prisons in Kansas confirmed finally that 79 staff have coronavirus and 88 prisons and prisoners dead.
Older residents in nursing homes cannot rebel like prisoners. Many can’t even walk. The Atlantic Magazine just published an article, We are Killing Elders Now. The writer states “In at least six states, these fatalities account for half of all COVID-19 deaths, and according to the World Health Organization, half of all coronavirus fatalities in Europe have been traced to nursing homes too. Some of this mortality is linked to long-term-care facilities that are shoddily run or that violate health standards. But most of them are doing the best they can with what they have. And they don’t have much”.
KAISER FOUNDATION NURSING HOME STAFFING AND USE OF PPE NOT REQUIRED IN MOST STATES
Kaiser reports -Staff Screening. It is more common for states to recommend rather than require daily screening of staff for illness in NFs (24 states recommend, 16 states + DC require)
Use of PPE. More states recommend (23 states) than require (7 states + DC) staff to use PPE
THE FEDS HAVE NO CMS FEDERAL GUIDELINES OR REPORTING
We have no federal guidelines for safety testing according to an article by the Kaiser Foundation
It is now estimated that 16,000 deaths have occurred in nursing homes and that is without the federal government revealing any numbers and not making available any testing. But the numbers are probably huge- if we could just do testing.
CMS announced it would have a meeting of a “panel” of experts “ sometime at the end of May”. After probably 20,000 older people died and the feds did nothing this shows their sense of urgency about this pandemic’s national “elder cleansing”.
WHAT CONNECTS PRISONS AND NURSING HOMES – CONCENTRATION CAMPS
So, what is the connection between the viral spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes and prisons- 6 feet ? Prisoners and residents, in nursing homes, and prisons cannot social distance. Jails and prisons have human beings crammed together with no choice. Nursing homes have 2 beds or if you are on Medicaid three to a room. Neither group has a choice to social distance. They are ” concentrated” as in concentration camps or death camps.
Do SOMETHING – HELP NURSING HOMES PREVENT MORE CARNAGE
So, as someone who has spent her career in aging, I am calling out to everyone, especially professional in aging – do something. Since the feds appear to be doing little- call your congressman, write a letter to the editor.
BE KIND LIKE RACHEL MADDOW REPORTS LA JEWISH HOME LA WAS
Rachel Maddow suggests calling your local nursing homes and see what they need. Be kind like the LA Jewish Home was to a smaller nursing home LA Brier Oaks. They wanted to test their residents and had no tests and the larger LA Jewish Home had tests and shared them with the smaller as a good neighbor. What they found was ravaging but it also showed caring and generosity. Care and be generous and show the helpless elders in nursing homes in your town you are opposed to -nursing home being prisons or concentration camps.