During the holidays, we get the opportunity to connect and reconnect with friends and family. Many of the conversations that take place this time of year are about food, festivities, and holiday plans. However, we also have the opportunity to have some of the more meaningful conversations as well.
If you are among the population with aging parents, you may be wondering if they may need more help. Some of this may be strictly physical while other issues may be more cognitive in nature. Noticing these changes in our loved ones can be very painful to experience.
Let the holiday pie be your starting point! While enjoying the treats of the season, you have the opportunity to share your observations in a non- threatening manner. You don’t want to make it about what’s diminishing but rather what can be the successful path forward.
Consider making connections with neighbors who are close to your loved ones. They may be a best resource, especially if your loved ones live in a different town than you. Think about the “check in” from a trusted neighbor or friend who can communicate back to you.
Hiring house cleaners can also be a big help. If mobility is an issue, sweeping the floors or running the vacuum can be a challenge. Would it make sense to bring in a service to handle those duties?
Lastly, think about adding appropriate lighting in the house. Nightlights can be especially useful after dark. Adding these little touches can drastically reduce the chances of a fall.
The bottom line is these difficult conversations are sometimes avoided until it’s too late. We suggest creating an open dialogue that promotes a plan of action that doesn’t limit the parents’ ability but maintains their sense of freedom and independence.
We have added one of our favorite pie recipes for your enjoyment:
1 stick butter
2 cups cooked peeled sweet potatoes
2 cups sugar
1 5 oz can evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 frozen deep dish pie shells
Mix potatoes, butter, and sugar until well blended. Add rest of ingredients and mix well. Pour into pie shells and bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.