Holidays with Aging Parents: Elder Care Expert Has the Prescription for Caregiver Stress
many families, the problem with the holidays is family. Elder care
expert Esther Koch provides insight into how caregivers of aging
parents can bring the joy of the holiday season to the elder care
"Your holidays will be joyful if you intend them to be", says Koch.
"You may have to start with forgiveness - forgive your parents, forgive
your siblings and forgive yourself." She emphasizes, "A little
forgiveness can eliminate years of regret."
Koch continues, "As a caregiver, you do need to recognize your parent's
limits as well as your own." Adjust commitments whenever necessary for
health reasons and don't forget to schedule time for yourself. "Most of
all, be in the moment and don't take for granted that your parent will
always be as physically and mentally able as they are now", she says.
Koch suggestions the following to make holiday memories. "With just a
little thought, the possibilities are limitless and the results may
turn out to be some of the most memorable times you will ever share
with your parent", she says.
Go to a holiday lighting event; take a drive to see neighborhood
Christmas decorations; check out the holiday shopping windows; or buy
and trim the tree together.
Go to the Nutcracker or a choir concert; participate in a sing-a-long
Messiah; or attend a Christmas Eve service. Rent a holiday movie or
watch a holiday TV special.
Visit old family friends or visit the neighborhoods of holidays past.
Bring out the old photo albums; take lots of new pictures and print
them up right away; or have a family photo with Santa.
Donate food or clothing to a food bank or homeless shelter. Make some special holiday treats or buy some already made.
Teach your parents to shop online or do anything, or everything, with grandchildren.
Koch concludes, "May your life be filled with no regrets; may you see
the extraordinary in the ordinary; and may someone be there to brighten
your world as you age."
Esther Koch is available for interview. For more info contact: Lorna Garano: lorna garano @ gmail . com or (510) 922-9765
ABOUT ESTHER KOCH & ENCORE MANAGEMENT
Esther Koch is a gerontologist and elder care advisor based in San
Mateo, California. She is the founder and CEO of Encore Management,
which provides advisory services and educational products (http://www.encoremgmt.com/encorelifemgmtseries.html)
to assist Boomers with the range of issues associated with caring for
an aging parent and their own aging. Koch is also a Medicare Aging
Network Partner with the Administration on Aging and the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid for the Medicare Prescription Drug Program. She
was a delegate to the last White House Conference on Aging.
Koch received her graduate degree in gerontology from USC and is a
member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care
Managers, the Business Forum on Aging of the American Society on Aging
and AARP. In addition to being a Stanford MBA, she is also a CPA and
former Chief Financial Officer and PricewaterhouseCoopers tax
professional. She left corporate America to pursue her passion for
elder care advocacy. Since then she has helped clients navigate the
physical, financial, and emotional challenges of aging. Her media
interviews have appeared on TV, radio, and in print. Visit her at www.ENCOREmgmt.com.