Rosh Hashanah -Sharing the holiday with our elders

As we enter the New Year, how do we share this time with family when we can’t be with them in person. Carol Silver Elliott, the CEO and President of the Jewish Home Family, suggests the following:

“How do we bridge that divide this year? How do we keep our elders from feeling alone and our children and grandchildren from losing the opportunity to build a memory? Rather than sit alone at our holiday tables, this is the year to connect with elders virtually, either before or during the holiday. Ask them about their holiday memories, to share a story of holidays in their youth. Record it or jot down notes and take screen shots. Ask them what they hope the coming year will bring. Give the children and grandchildren an opportunity to share their own holiday wishes with the elder. Maybe it’s a video greeting card, maybe there are cards or drawings or crayoned pictures, maybe there are photos as the family gathers that can be sent to the older adult, either via mail or electronically. We must find ways to hold onto what’s important and not let the virus have this victory. COVID has already taken far too much from us and from our elders.” https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/a-new-year/

Let’s all create some new memories by sharing our elders’ memories of holiday celebrations from their youth. Let’s keep the oral tradition of generation to generation going strong.

Have a safe and healthy New Year.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 15th of each year has been designated by the United Nations as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day — Stressing the importance for each of us to be aware that elder abuse, whether physical, financial or psychological is happening every day.  We need to learn how to identify the abuse and where to obtain assistance for those of our elders who are abused.

There are many events planned to raise awareness of Elder Abuse. Google WEAAD to find locations near you.

Visit the New Jersey Long-Term Care Ombudsman Website to find information and assistance on elder abuse in relation to long term care facilities.

Legal Services of New Jersey has received a grant to assist victims of elder abuse. You can reach out to Adelina Herrarte, Esq., at Northeast NJ Legal Services, 574 Summit Ave., 2nd Flr., Jersey City, NJ 07306, 201-792-6363 for assistance.

Be aware.

Dementia: Don’t Count Your Loved Ones Out

Yesterday was Memorial Day.  It was a day of remembering those who died fighting for our freedoms.  It was also a day spent with loved ones including our elders.  For those of you who have family members diagnosed with dementia, you may feel that you have already lost them even though they are still with you physically.

Please read the article entitled “Counting Them Out” by Carol Silver Elliot, https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/counting-them-out.  The article offers a story of one elder with dementia who rarely responded to any communication yet responded to a therapy pony.

I hope Ms. Silver’s blog brings you some comfort and perhaps a method for stimulating your loved ones with dementia.  Don’t count your loved ones out –  they are still with you.

 

Ageism

Ageism is not only discrimination based on age, but is also the use of words to diminish a person’s value.  When we describe an older person as “cute”, “sweet” or “adorable” we are using the same words that we use to describe a baby or a child.  In the case of an older adult this is an insult, not a compliment.  An older person is wise, not cute.  An older person has years of experience to share with us.  An older person is a mentor.  An older person is a teacher.

We should be celebrating our older adult population not demeaning them or diminishing them.

In elder care planning mediation we celebrate our elders and work towards giving them the future they want for themselves and providing them and their families with the tools and assistance to achieve that goal.  Please call if I can be of assistance.

I recommend the following blog post for a heartfelt discussion on Ageism. https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/freedom-from-ageism/

 

 

 

Mother’s Day

Many of us this Mother’s Day are taking care of our Moms rather than having them take care of us.  The circle of life.

I share the following blog with you which brought tears to my eyes.

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/for-mothers-day/

If you need assistance with making elder care decisions for your Mom, let me help.

 

Being Kind

I just read a blog written by Carol Silver Elliott, President and CEO of the Jewish Home Family and wanted to share it with you.  To Be Kind, http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/to-be-kind/

Caregiver Stress

During the holiday season many family caregivers experience additional stress. Not only is the caregiver dealing with the usual day to day care of a loved one, but the holidays themselves are stressful with the added worries about gifting, entertaining and end of year planning.

Family mediation is available to help caregivers discuss the situation in a safe, non-judgmental environment with other family members. By participating in the mediation, family members who are visiting for the holidays can get a better perspective on how the caregiver of their loved one is trying to cope and perhaps how they can best assist.

Please call me if you wish to schedule a family mediation. In the meantime I refer you to the following article from Alzheimer’s NJ, http://www.alznj.org/managing-caregiver-stress-holidays/.