Holiday Wonder and Stress

The Holidays Can Be Exceedingly Difficult and Bring Stressful Times for Many people.

This includes thoughts of expectations as well as combining many people’s schedules.

Sometimes it is hard to figure out what the reason is for the distress, but providing individualized support and attention is usually a great answer... or at least a great way to listen:

Following is our Caregiver, Donna’s, account of care with one particular client, who felt that stress, like many do:

“Days before the Thanksgiving Holiday, Eunice was looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner with family. However, on this day, I found her sitting in her chair, in total silence and darkness. She was only wearing a robe, did not have her hearing aids in, and her hair was all messy. This was not like her. When she saw me, she tearfully but sternly stated she did not want to go to the Thanksgiving meal downstairs. I am glad that I arrived when I did, as I could see this was a crucial time when she needed someone there to talk directly with her. I knelt down beside her and took her hand in mine and asked, "Why...??? you were looking forward to this day."

She said she is in too much pain. We know that pain causes a lot of different stressors, as well as different behaviors. Each person needs to have their pain addressed in a different way.

I opened the blinds and told her it was a beautiful fall day. At first, she said no to a shower. I said, "Oh come on you'll feel so much better afterward."

I assisted with shower, washing hair, dressing for the day, and drying, curling her hair her way. Or at least tried to. I turned on the Thanksgiving Day Parade (she normally does not like the tv on but I thought /hoped this would get her in the right mood for the day. While I massaged her feet, she started reminiscing about the Rose Bowl parades she's been to when she lived in California.

The listening and slow attention worked.

“It all put a smile on her face. There was no more complaining, and she did not seem to be in pain anymore... at least not enough to keep her from the Thanksgiving dinner. When the family arrived, she was already, feeling good and smiling.”

P. Hietpas
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