Wit and Wisdom Blog for Atria Senior Living

      Wit and Wisdom      

a new view on growing older

Navigating the Highs and Lows of the Holiday Season


Posted on November 9, 2017 by Jamie Floyd


For caregivers, the approaching holiday season can bring with it a flurry of emotions – not all of them positive. If you are one of the 39 million caregivers in the United States, here are some tips to help you cope with the emotional ups and downs of the season.

Know that you are not alone

As a caregiver of an older person, you may experience a great feeling of loneliness that comes from being isolated from others due to the responsibilities of caregiving. It can seem as if no one understands your role as a caregiver and you are alone in the role with all of the daily responsibilities. It is very “real” to feel alone, especially around Christmas. Know that this feeling is valid. It helps to reach out to someone who is in a similar situation. They are likely to be feeling lonely, too. Talk on the phone, text or email each other daily. Make a pact to shore each other up through the holiday season. Be sure to connect with someone other than the person for whom you are caring.

Acknowledge anger – and let it go

Long lines at the mall, no parking spaces and too many items on the to-do list can bring out anyone’s inner Scrooge. Hey, we all can get angry during the holidays, right? Bah humbug! As a caregiver, your anger may be related to grief and loss. Your roles have changed, your responsibilities have grown when they were supposed to diminish and your burden is heavier. In the meantime, the whole world around you seems merry. If you feel anger, use it as fuel to take action. Call a friend and talk about it. Say it out loud, “I am angry right now because I cannot decorate this house. I don’t have time.” Identifying the feeling and taking control of the situation can help curb the anger. I know a woman who cleans closets and drawers to help blow off steam. Some folks go for long walks or bike rides. Take care of the anger in a positive and healthy way, starting with acknowledging it and getting it out.

Seek out social interaction

One in four people may experience depression during the holiday season. The top factor contributing to this is social isolation. Because of the demands of caregiving, you undoubtedly experience a heightened degree of social isolation. Caregivers often report that their circle of friends has shrunk to one or two. Adult children are too busy to visit or travel home. Social and spiritual outlets are hard to access due to the demands of caregiving. Give yourself permission to be sad while making it a priority to find ways to have social interaction. Call a friend or family member and ask them to visit. If you are invited to dinner or an event and are able to attend, then go. Many caregivers fall into the trap of declining invitations to the point of not being invited in the future. You will be giving yourself and the person in your care a gift by finding social outlets to help you stay mentally healthy.

Embrace new traditions

With caregiving come many changes. If you are an older adult caregiver, the additional changes in life roles, traditions and abilities may add to feelings of grief and loss. Acknowledge those feelings while looking for opportunities to change your roles and establish new traditions. If you feel up to baking all the pies like every Thanksgiving before, don’t let anyone take away that joy. I know of one family who realized how overwhelming big crowds of boisterous children had become for their aging parents. So, they divided up the visits over the course of a week and actually had more quality time together. Give yourself permission to create new traditions. Remember, all traditions were new at one time or another!

As a caregiver, there may come a time when full-time caregiving is no longer the solution for you or the one in your care. Give yourself permission to consider additional options for care.


Category: Caregiver Support Tags: , ,

Stay Happy and Healthy This Winter with These 6 Tips


Posted on October 31, 2017 by Atria Senior Living


During the colder months, many seniors experience the winter blues. Chilly temperatures, fewer sunny hours and days stuck indoors can cause serious seasonal malaise. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD — depression increased by lack of sunlight during the winter months — affects approximately 10 million Americans each year, with another 10 to 20 percent reporting milder SAD symptoms. (more…)


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4 Tips to Avoid the Flu – Atria Senior Living Blog

4 Tips to Avoid the Flu


Posted on October 10, 2017 by Atria Senior Living


Experts typically look to the southern hemisphere’s flu season to predict what might happen in the U.S., and this year looks to be challenging.

“Australia’s flu season has always been a good indicator of our flu season, and unfortunately it looks as if the flu season for 2018 will be a tough one for us based upon what we’ve seen there this year,” says Mike Gentry, Senior Vice President, Care and Life Guidance. (more…)


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A Simple Guide to Senior Living Tax Deductions – Atria Senior Living Blog

A Simple Guide to Senior Living Tax Deductions


Posted on March 25, 2016 by Steve Morgan


There are few things in life more confusing than the tax code. The annual ritual of tracking down credits and deductions to minimize tax liability can be tedious, and the rules seem to change year over year.

The availability of senior living tax deductions comes down to whether or not the services provided meet a medical need. The reason this is important is because in order to deduct the costs from taxable income, the IRS requires they qualify as medical expenses. These deductions can offset a portion of the cost of senior living for residents and their families. (more…)


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Knowing When it’s Time for a Parent to Stop Driving

Knowing When it’s Time for a Parent to Stop Driving


Posted on December 10, 2015 by Angela Weisser


Have you ever needed a car repair and found yourself at the mercy of a friend, taxi or subway? The ability to drive means freedom, and without it you have to rely on other, less convenient means of transportation.

Even temporary inconveniences like these remind us that being our own driver is a privilege, and for older adults who can no longer drive safely, losing this privilege can be difficult for them and for you. Mom or Dad may be reluctant to hand over the car keys, and you might worry about how they’ll get around in the future.

(more…)


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Bizarre Behaviors: When Mom May Need Help

When Mom May Need Help


Posted on November 20, 2015 by Angela Weisser


Despite advances in health care, the aging process itself can limit an older adult’s ability to carry out basic daily living activities. Health problems aren’t always obvious, especially for older adults. Signs of declining health or abilities can be so subtle that neither the parent – nor their children or caregiver – may realize help is needed. (more…)


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Older Adults and Dehydration Risks - Atria Senior Living Blog

Older Adults and Dehydration Risks


Posted on September 1, 2015 by Michele Macmartin


For older adults, staying hydrated can be a challenge. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, one in three older adults may not drink enough fluids each day due to physical and physiological changes common to aging,  such as: diminished thirst sensation, side effects of medications and incontinence. The inability to walk, reach for a glass or feed oneself can further complicate the issue. A decline in cognitive function (confusion, poor memory, etc.) can also impact fluid intake. (more…)


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