How do we avoid stress? Daphne Davis at Pinnacle Senior Placements says the most important thing is to plan and communicate. We get caught up in creating the perfect holiday season, which adds to the stress. The perfection of the holiday season is going to be in the memories. Keep things as consistent and calm as possible.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is provided by pinnacles senior placements LLC and answers for elders radio. And welcome back to answers for elders radio everyone. I am here with the wonderful Daphne Davis from Pinnacle senior placements. Daphne, welcome to the program well, thank you. Good afternoon. I’m glad you are here and it’s great Saturday and I can’t believe that the holidays are upon us and this is a stressful time for families and, I will say, likely even more stressful for those that are taking care of senior loved ones. And you’re here to talk about avoiding stress. How do we do do that? Is that right? Yeah, I think the most important thing is to plan and communicate. So, if so, during the holiday time, just think of all the balls you have in the air, naturally, and how we get caught in the idea that it’s got to be the perfect holiday season. That was my mantra. I I busted myself over and over because I just didn’t want to spoil it for my mom and so I did things that I normally wouldn’t do because you added to the stress. So first ten, don’t add. Don’t add. The perfection of the holiday seasons is going to be in memory is and particularly in this time of transition for someone that you’re caring for, it’s about keeping things as consistent and calm as possible. Yeah, and that includes for the carrier to absolutely the caregiver is probably just or as even more important sometimes when we’re dealing with stress, because your stress will transfer to the person you’re caring for and your family and your family, that’s right, your extended family, and they’ll just be kind of like everybody’s pulling their hair out. And so my suggestion to you, number one, let me say it again, is to communicate and to plan. Communicate, communicate plans, communicate for help. Ask for help. Don’t feel badly about asking help. And let’s talk a little bit about that asking. Oh Hey, you know, I believe you need to be specific, because if someone’s not intimately involved in the care of an elder, whether it be dementia care or care for someone who gets winded easily with CPD or someone who has a hard time moving, it’s an adjustment and the people who are not involved don’t understand that adjustment. So it’s almost like family members be open to hearing things put at a very simple level, because we don’t want to assume anything. Right. Caregiver, communicate to the lowest common and dominator in terms of the minutia of when you see mom trying to stand up, put your hand on her elbow, not in her armpit, and Yank on her polar with her hands. You know, it’s little things that you can help family members. Or how do they come into your home? If you’re choosing to have an event at your home gathering, how do people come into their home and introduce themselves to mom? Now you may be, you know, son number three, but that given day, because you know, the doorbell has been ringing, the dogs barking, there’s added people here and I have kind of forgotten why. Why are they even added? My house is getting torn up with with Christmas presents on wrappings and ribbons all over the floor and I’m afraid mom or dad are going to fall and and you know, and all the different things. It’s hard, shopping, house cleaning, all of those things right and to get to the place of saying to the family members just walk in and say hi, mom, this is this is Daphne, and it’s so great to see you. I get to be the position of the eldest daughter right know, whatever it is, give the gift of dignity to the loved one. Give that. Don’t make assumptions, and she’ll say, Oh, I know who you are and I know you do, but I just thought I did formally introduce myself or all that kind of you go with the flow, right to not feel offended anyway. But think about someone who may have some anxiety about am I going to be socially appropriate right, going to be able to remember things appropriately, and how much stress that can be. So, as a caregiver, how do you eliminate that? Maybe have somebody you know your your niece or nephew, that you can say to them, Hey, can you kind of spend extra time with Grammy? You’re so good with her, and kind of keep an eye on her, because I’m going to be setting the table and she would love to spend time with you. And that’s a simple little way of asking for help. Everyone feels important. The Grand Child feels I’m needed and maybe give her even some things to talk about. You know grandma loves to hear about you and your hobbies. You know, whatever your hobbies may be, or or talk about when you went to the lake or camping or whatever, those long term memories, and give everyone the tip of saying please, try hard not to say no, or do you remember? Try hard, and those things. You know, if you just put them out there as a caregiver, you’ve done your part and now the rest of the family can grab onto it or not. Well, and the other thing, I think what you’ve talked about in previous interviews, is in the communication pieces, get kind of give that. This is where we’re at right now. You know, and I think that this is this is an important thing for families to remember, because people are coming together into the home. They may not have seen mom for a month. That’s three before, and even in things can happen in a month or six months or whatever that is. So I think what you’re saying is is to communicate, but not only that, communicate on what you need and be specific, like I look back at it now, what I should have done. You know, we always look back two thousand and twenty. Sure I could have what I mean help, like you know, I would really like to have some help and have a professional house cleaner come in to my house. And for my Christmas present. Would you guys do that? Take care of that? You know, this is a kind of stuff that families could do for the primary caregiver because they’re out, you know, twenty to forty hours a week taking care of a loved one. That’s exactly right. Or even after the event, you know that January time comes, we get through November, December, January’s here. Have something planned right for yourself, and that may be in the form of having another sibling come in or a caregiving service or rest, but just even to get to three hours to go to a movie. Yeah, it’s me time, or, you know, the SPA Day for yourself. Huh. Plan that into the schedule of events and don’t feel guilty about it. This is somebody else can pick up where you left off for a few hours. So we are talking to the family caregivers. Greatest ally and friend, Daphne Davis, from pinnacles senior placements. Daphne, tell us a little bit about how you serve caregivers and their family loved ones. Well, I meet with family members and caregivers individually and I can meet in your homes, I can meet in a care facility, in a hospital and to be that outside set of eyes that can see things a little more objectively. I also can help families through the Times of real strong dynamics and emotions that are going on. That, again, can keep a family focused on what’s most important. And why are we even having a discussion about decisions needing to be right and draw it back to to mom and dad. So I’m very hands on and listening to you. The family members, absolutely and you know, definitely. I know that we’ve mentioned this before in previous interviews, but it’s important to note that your services to families are free, totally free. I work in the community and I work with every care facility and adult family home in the state of Washington. I’m paid like a realtor, so the families are not paying and I’m an extension of the Care Facilities Marketing Department. Virtually I can show you any, any facility out there. I love that. I love that and and obviously it’s such a needed service what you do for families. And I think the other thing to on the stress of avoiding stress for yourself is you really help the adult child be the daughter instead of being the the one that has to do the hard things. That’s I’m having somebody come in from the outside into a family that can help ease that stress of transitions, which is change is hard. It’s hard on everybody in the family and when it’s all on the shoulders of a adult daughter or son, you’re in a situation where you’re trying very hard to, you know, manage these these scenarios and you know, you forget that you’re also the daughter. That’s right, and that’s the gift that I can give to families, as being the objective party, to say, how about being a daughter? How about being the spouse again? How about being the sun again, and even if it’s only for a few hours out of the day or one day a week, but for us to focus on that. That’s my gift to my family’s is to be able to figure out how can we maintain the relationships our highest value to the families and still keep dignity, quality of life and safety for our loved ones, and I think that that really transcends in especially to the holidays. It that’s because we have expectation. Yes, and mom and wants to talk about, you know, Christmas is past, because those are things and dad is going to want to talk about times. You know, where he got Mama mink cold coat or or it’s right, and as our holiday parties that they’ve had or different things like that. And you know sometimes, I think family caregivers get into a situation where they talk about th those things and can oh, I better come through, and that just you go down the rabbit hole pretty fast. That’s exactly right. Trying to uphold those expectations also can be as a caregiver. You’re thinking about I got to get medications, I got to go pick up this medication, I got to make sure that mom gets lunch at this time and she’s only had eight ounces of water and now you know, I need to get her a nap so I don’t overdo it. And you don’t even take the time for that conversation because you’re the caregiver and not take on yourself. Yeah, and and holidays can be hard. I know that. You know in so many cases it’s like to if you can’t give to somebody else from an empty vessel. No, and it’s like so first and foremost for caregiver, they need to take care of themselves and if you’re taking care of a loved one, it’s like when you talk about setting that time aside, saying this is me time and enjoy you know, it’s important for you to enjoy the holidays on your own platform, to it’s honor those boundaries. That’s it’s like. You know, maybe you make a special exception on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve because it’s important, but there’s other things you can do for a family member. If your mom or data or is in retirement living, there’s private dining room there, usually you can actually bring the holiday to them in certain cases, which really makes it nice. That’s exactly right. You know, if you do have a loved one that’s living in a community, how do I bring those family traditions to them? And that can be taking on perhaps bringing their her favorite Coca Cola cakes or something. Yeah, but bring it to them, or singing the holiday carols. Yes, yes, make it. I used to make the sprits cookies because my mom was a sweet so, yeah, and she loved to have that, you know, laying out there for her nurses and caregivers to come in and get a sprits cookie, and that was part of the Swedish tradition. She loved that and she got to be the hostess A. Yeah, he did loose her vanity. Little things like that over and that was pretty simple to dude. So definitely how do we reach you? You reach me at eight hundred and fifty five, seven thirty four, one thousand five hundred, or you can reach me on the Web at PinnacleSeniorPlacements.com. Definitely thank you again at happy holidays and the the preceding podcast was provided by pinnacles senior placements LLC and answers for elders radio. To contact pinnacles senior placements, go to PinnacleSeniorPlacements.com.
Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.