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Dec 22, 2019

There's still time ...for you as a caregiver give yourself gifts. 

From My Commentary in the Chicago Tribune:

For family caregivers, the normal stresses and challenges experienced by most during the holiday season can be amplified exponentially. Rather than enjoying the season, many caring for chronically impaired loved ones settle for enduring the holidays.

Aside from family get-togethers (that often present accessibility issues or other challenges), there remain the usual medical difficulties, extra shopping, special meals and added pressure of making it special for others.

“It may be our last time …” weighs heavy on the minds of many caregivers. And, while trying to meet a loved one’s expectations, many caregivers end up sacrificing their own peace of mind at the altar of nostalgia.

Sadly, an overwhelming number of caregivers wearily mutter a “thank God it’s over” each Jan. 2.

The magic of Christmas can quickly disappear when you’re being cursed at while changing an adult diaper. Christmas Eve in the ER is no picnic. Neither is dealing with a family member with the chronic impairment of addiction. Wrapping presents for someone who can’t remember your name doesn’t usually inspire a sudden desire to sing carols.

These scenarios and more represent the reality for millions of Americans who put themselves between a vulnerable loved one and a potential disaster.

Is there holiday joy for caregivers?

While requiring some creativity, the short answer is “yes!”

Here are ways caregivers can reintroduce some festive spirit into their weary hearts and bodies

Read the entire commentary in the Chicago Tribune.