It’s the time of year when thoughts turn to “Home for the Holidays.” Whether you travel, host, or spend your holiday in solitude, the mere thought of the holiday season can conjure memories of sights, sounds, special foods and food smells, transportation hassles, stress, frenzied shopping, “crazy relatives,” lumpy futons, moments of relaxation, and cherished customs.
Although advertised as uniformly joyful, many people find the holidays to be bittersweet. There is joy in welcoming new family members through marriage, birth, or adoption, but there may also be sorrow in missing friends or family who have died, become gravely ill, or been unable to attend the festivities.
Holiday visits can make manifest that older friends or family are less capable of caring for themselves than they have lead others to believe. It is easier to disguise failing memories or physical strength during a telephone conversation than it is in person where the volume of “bad moments” can more readily be compared to the “good moments.”
What to do? Look for moments to enjoy, take care of yourself, get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, eat as balanced a diet as you can, get exercise (even if just a walk around the block), breathe!, and write down your observations or concerns so that you do not have to try to remember them all.
If you are the person with changes to your family structure, then contact us to review your existing estate plan to see how to modify it to meet your goals given your changing family or to discuss setting up your first estate plan if you do not already have one.
If the concern is about a relative, then see if you can gently discuss whether the relative has a Durable General Power of Attorney (POA) or Advance Medical Directive/Medical Power of Attorney (AMD) in place and review it, if possible. If you are concerned about care options and paying its high cost, contact us to set an appointment to review the options available and learn how a plan can be put in place before an emergency strikes. If an emergency has struck, or is imminent, then contact us to discuss crisis planning options.
In the next blog, we’ll list some of the resources that you and your family may wish to use to assist when families and their needs change.
Wishing all the best for you and yours this holiday season.