Far too many (adult) children view their eldercare role in only its most negative terms. Missed opportunities abound to bring joy to the experience for all.
The holidays are the perfect time of year to create "Moments of Joy". Rather than framing the holiday family experience as dread, use the holidays to change the focus from all that you have to do for your parents to all the joyful experiences you can create for and share with your parents. Become a "Facilitator of Experiences".
Joy can look different to different people. To some, it is so thrilling that it excites the soul. To others, is may be quiet and reflective. And to still others, it may be inwardly reflective but outwardly celebratory. Chose the experiences that are more likely to create a match. However joy shows up, for most of us it will look different from the norm. That's the sad part; joy is too often the exception rather than the rule.
To get to joy, your may first need to get to a place of foregivness. You may need to forgive your parents for not being the parents you would have wanted them to be and your parents may need to forgive their children for not being the children they wanted them to become. It may also a time for siblings to forgive each other for what they did or did not do. Last but not least, it may also be a time to forgive yourself.
Don't take for granted that your parents will always be as physically and mentally able as they are now, wherever that might be in the continuum. It is most likely that a triggering event will move them immediately to a lower plateau of life where former abilites will never be regained. These major health events are inevitable, but their timing is uncertain. Far too many Boomers are in denial of this fact.
The greatest gift that you can give someone is your time. As scarce a commodity it is for you, it is even more scarce for your parents. Remember that time changes with age. It slows down; it is in the moment; it is not multi-tasking.
Expand your role of elder caregiver to include "Facilitator of Experiences". At worst it will make your role more palatable; at best it will bring you joy and peace.
May your life be filled with not regrets; may you see the extraordinary in the ordinary; and may someone be there to brighten your world as you age.