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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / ‘Tis the Beginning of the Season – No, Really! /  Editorial List

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‘Tis the Beginning of the Season – No, Really!

Halloween is more than a night when little goblins and ghosties ring our doorbells looking for goodies; it also signifies the start of the holiday travel season. Many of us will be traveling with our loved ones for whom we care, or will have relatives visit with us over the next two months. These visitations can either represent a ghoulishly frightening experience or they can be a real pleasure.

As in all things regarding caregiving, preparation is the key to success.  If you are traveling to other people’s homes, make sure they understand your concerns over your loved one’s safety.  Will throw rugs need to be stored, beds moved or even holiday decorations organized so they will not present opportunities for a fall? Do you know where the durable medical equipment store is in your host family member’s neighborhood?   

To get you through all of the holiday hubbub and hullabaloo, the good folks at Today’s Caregiver magazine (ok, that’s us) have designed the perfect gift to present to yourself.  Consider The Fearless Caregiver Guide to Holiday Caregiving as a training manual to successfully navigate getting through the holidays on your own terms as a family caregiver.

If your fiends (okay, I’ll stop) and family members are starting to make plans to join you for the holidays, make sure that they do so as your partners in care.  For example, if your nephew who is handy with tools will be coming to your house for the holidays, let him know that a really useful gift would be for him to fix that squeaky door or even change the oil in the car; or you could ask your sister to sit with Dad while you read a few chapters of a novel or even disappear for an afternoon.

Holidays offer a great opportunity for realistic family meetings (what we call Board of Directors meetings) about how your loved one is fairing. It will, frankly, be up to you to make sure that the session remains non-confrontational as well as instructional. Deep breaths and counting to ten helps.

Over the next few weeks, take some time to work together with your loved ones to help plan for a truly successful holiday season.

Oh, and one more thing…if you are to be visited by the Family Ghouls for any time during the holidays – you may also want to have the Fearless Caregiver Guide entitled Getting Friends & Family to Help on hand, as well.

Trick or treat?  Make mine treat, please.


Gary Barg

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