“You may ask, "How did this tradition get started?" I'll tell you!
... I don't know. But it's a tradition...” (Tevye)
Holiday traditions can drive caregivers and challenged people bonkers. Undoubtedly the able bodied have similar pressures and even though I have one foot in both worlds it has been a long time since I shared the holidays from a ‘totally able bodied’ perspective.
Holidays pull families and friends temporarily together for hours or even a day, yet good well-intended people hosting under pressure can develop a tunnel vision of festive fascists.
To care, and caregiving can put you on a collision course with ‘tradition’.
Caregiving is an unbalanced environment driven by unpredictable care needs. The person needing attended care must be the focus if only to improve their safety and stability. The bigger picture MUST adapt. That is challenging for family gatherings unfamiliar and uncomfortable with daily caregiving needs and demands.
To caregivers who have had to rush, push, or shove the square peg into the round hole it sure can feel like you are outside looking in.
In our story with Patti non-ambulatory and Multiple Sclerosis related bladder and bowel incontinence, Depends require changing at least as often as an able bodied person would visit a rest room. Changing an adult is weight lifting time and takes a customized room.
Christmas Day ‘visiting’ was a 10 hour outing full of good times (and more). Patti was exhausted as was I. My caregiving day ended waiting for the dryer to finish the third load of related laundry.
My day was mild contrasted to so many caregivers out there. … The elderly lost in thoughts of would they see another Christmas. … Family members with dementia blocking or erasing memories and even names of the family around them. … Children with physical and or cognitive challenges trying to grasp even the concept of Christmas.
Thank you all for being out there in the world.
"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.” (Francis P Church)
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer