It’s the time of year again when people are expected to be ho-ho-ho and full of cheer.
Sometimes all is not rosy though, especially if there are health concerns at home. When trouble rocks the boat,someone must step up to take the helm and keep the ship steady. The roles of caregiver and cared-for are seldom discussed – too often “it’s not my problem”. Please try to accept with grace the inevitable changes that come, it’s too easy to slough it all off turn away if you don’t like what you see.
As circumstances change, so do traditions. Christmas at home may simply not be possible anymore. If relatives, friends, or neighbours are wearying under the heavy toil of caregiving the best gift of all is people’s understanding and patience.
- Drop by with a home baked treat.
- Help with small maintenance issues in the house that need attention; like changing burned out lightbulbs, checking the smoke alarms, or replacing a furnace filter.
- Hang a wreath on their door.
- Put up a string or two of twinkly lights where they can be seen from inside.
- Leave a bag of salt on the front stoop.
- Neighbours or family members might pool their pennies to arrange for regular driveway clearing or shovelling the steps.
- Maybe prepaid home delivery of prepared frozen meals would be gladly received.
- Fill a Christmas stocking and hang it on the front door, then tiptoe away and hope a dusting of snow covers your tracks!
- Have the neighbourhood kids build a snowman in the front yard.
- Make time to telephone and extend your Season’s Greetings.
In the spirit of Christmas, extending a a helping hand will renew someone’s faith in your humanity. Caregivers and those with chronic illness have already lost what is most precious – attention, bestowing affection and caring companionship. Whether you’re near or far, celebrate the season – be a Christmas Elf.