The Family TEAM around the holidays – a core anchor in Aging as a team sport
We continue our series on Aging as a team sport…in this episode, we highlight the family as a core member of that team and how utilizing holidays are an excellent time to run the team drills, practice and align on the team plan.
Caring for an aging parent is a profound and shared responsibility that can bring a family closer together, fostering a sense of unity and support even when you are living in a geographically dispersed family across the country or beyond. There are key points in the year when you may be assembling as a family for a holiday to see each other and spend quality time with
your aging parent. Thanksgiving is one of these ideal times for families to come together and strategize on how to collectively care for their aging loved one. This is a moment when the “family team” is critical that can collectively observe and initiate new lines of communication and concerns about the evolving needs of the parent, including healthcare, emotional support, and day-to-day assistance.
Like all teams, we have roles and responsibilities and preparation before the big game. As you prepare to travel this Thanksgiving season, think of how you can prepare your FAMILY TEAM. The first thing would be to prepare with your siblings, so pick up the phone, send a text, or whatever you do to have a “pre-game alignment”. As you are a team, think about the roles and jobs for each team member – you can even designate specific tasks amongst your siblings to watch for specific things in your Older’s home or your Older’s health. Recognizing that each member's contribution is valuable. Share information and stay updated on the parent's health status, appointments, and medications to ensure a coordinated and informed approach to caregiving.
Thanksgiving gatherings can serve as a platform for brainstorming creative solutions and establishing a support network. Consider implementing a shared calendar for scheduling caregiving duties and medical appointments, or explore local resources that may alleviate some of the responsibilities. Encourage open dialogue during the holiday season, allowing family members to express their concerns, challenges, and needs in the caregiving process.
Additionally, Thanksgiving celebrations can be adapted to accommodate the aging parent's needs, ensuring a warm and inclusive environment. Simplify meal preparation, create a comfortable space for rest, and cherish the moments of togetherness. By embracing teamwork, families can navigate the complexities of caring for an aging parent with compassion and unity, turning Thanksgiving into a time of shared commitment and gratitude.
Let us know your experiences in your team, share your insights at [email protected].