Holiday Tips for Families with Elderly Relatives

December 24, 2010
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In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s hard to forget the festive season isn’t just about your children, the gifts, the big dinner, the tree, and the parties. Our parents, grandparents, and older relatives are often the loneliest at this time of year. Shirley McGee, owner of Home Sweet Home Care Inc. says that there are things we can do, however, to make sure they feel loved and included.

  • Include them as much as possible. If the seniors in your family aren’t as mobile as they used to be, then offer to pick them up and drop them off, or arrange for a cab or for someone else to do the driving.
  • Recognize their limitations. Grandma may be used to whipping together turkey dinners for 12, but her hands and eyes aren’t what they used to be. You should encourage older family members to take it easy, and you should pamper them for a change. But let them help with smaller, less complicated tasks if they want to participate.
  • Listen to their stories. Many of our older relatives live in their memories. Encourage them to talk about holidays past. If they keep albums, ask to see the photographs. They may have some wonderful traditions from their childhood that you can incorporate into your own family’s plans.
  • Give them the best gift of all; give them your time! Most of the seniors that Oast & Hook works with say that the best gift of all is spending time with family. Unhurried, uncomplicated family time will mean the most to your loved ones and will create memories to last all year long.
  • Don’t let it end. With the excitement over and the families getting back to their normal routines, the weeks right after the holidays are often the hardest for seniors. Make it your New Year’s resolution to spend more time with your older relatives throughout the year.

It’s often around family holidays that you will notice that your parents, grandparents or older relatives aren’t doing as well as they once did. If you need assistance meeting the needs of your senior family members, then please call the attorneys at Oast & Hook. The attorneys at Oast & Hook can assist families with their estate, financial, insurance, life care, veterans benefits, and special needs planning issues.
All of us at Oast & Hook wish you a happy holiday season and a healthy 2011!

Ask Allie

O&H: Allie, we’ve heard an amazing story about a cat who disappeared after Hurricane Katrina. Please tell us about him.
Allie: Sure! Scrub is a Russian blue and white cat who lived with his family in Mississippi. He was an indoor cat, but when Hurricane Katrina ravaged his town, the lack of air conditioning made it too hot for him to remain indoors. His family thinks he became disoriented outside because the scenery was changing every day as the town cleaned up from the hurricane, and he disappeared. Recently, five years after he disappeared, Scrub was brought to the Humane Society of South Mississippi by a woman living 15 miles from Scrub’s original home. She had fed him as a stray for several months and was worried about his safety during a recent cold snap. Fortunately, Scrub had been microchipped, and the shelter called his family. The family could not believe that the cat at the shelter was Scrub, but they were delighted to be reunited with their favorite pet. “This is the power of microchipping,” Humane Society Director Tara High says. “There is no other way that cat would have found its family. This is a dramatic story with a wonderful ending.” What a great story for the holidays! My family at Oast & Hook microchipped me when I lived with them, and I’m glad they did. I hope all of our readers and their families have a wonderful holiday season. Time to go take a nap and wait for Santa Claws! See you next week!

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