J: Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and by the look of the malls, Christmas might arrive even sooner. So it's a busy time of year as there are lots stressors involved with holidays and their concomitant expectations. The stressors can be even higher when dealing with people with AD. In our case, our parents have no idea that the holidays are coming, so we don't have to worry that they have a lot of expectations. But the caregivers have holiday plans, so that will change up the routine for our parents, which, in turn, causes stress. The addition of all of this stress tends to take the "Merry" out of Christmas.
So what's a family to do? One good suggestion came to me this week when I read Regina Brett's column about losing her mom, who had AD when she died. Her advice, "as memory fades and the best pieces of them disappear, you have only one gift left to give and to receive: Presence. In the end that's what matters the most. Your presence and theirs"
My plan is this- I'm crossing off gifts for my parents. They don't need anything. And instead I am going to be Present as my Present. They might not know I'm there, and the conversation might be all one sided, but in the end, it's the best gift I can give.