As you know, having something to look forward to with anticipation and pleasure is not only wonderfully exhilarating, but also emotionally and subsequently physically healthy. If you want to improve your loved one’s quality of life, help them paint a rosy picture for 2016. As their outlook gets brighter and their emotional health improves, so will the emotional health of their Caregivers.
One of Frank Sinatra’s song lyrics says it better than we ever could, so let us quote a few verses:
Looking at the world through rose colored glasses,
Everything is rosy now.
Looking at the world and everything that passes, seems of rosy hue somehow.
In a bungalow all covered with roses, I will settle down I vow,
That’s why I’m looking at the world through rose colored glasses,
Everything is rosy now.
The “now” is the secret of this activity. The moment we focus on the rosy, we no longer pay attention to the gray — or anything else. The key is to focus and refocus on the rosy events, holidays, and special occasions.
In last week’s article, we discussed the need to fill your Elderly parents’ 2016 calendar with Family-related events. The Family was, is, and always will be in the center of attention for our parents — especially now, when they are retired and are often lonesome. In addition to Family-related events, there are plenty of favorite national holidays and days of religious observance that will give Mom, Dad, their Caregiver, and everyone around them, something to look forward to. What are Mom’s favorite holidays?
• January 18 is Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
• February 14 is Valentine’s Day
• February 15 is Washington’s Birthday
• March 27 is Easter
• April 23-30 is Passover
• May 30 is Memorial Day
• July 4 is Independence Day
• September 5 is Labor Day
• October 3-4 is Rosh Hashanah
• October 10 is Columbus Day
• November 24 is Thanksgiving
• December 25 is the beginning of Hanukkah
• December 25 is Christmas Day
The secret is to discover what really is important to your loved one, and to help them paint a compelling, rosy picture around the holiday, and then do it over and over, and over again. Perhaps Dad served in the military during WWII, and Memorial Day has a special meaning to him? Maybe he always wanted to visit the National WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C.? Would he get excited about visiting it? Of course he will. Not only will he get excited about the visit, he will be excited just thinking about it. He will start planning and researching the best times to visit, how to get there, etc. That anticipation is what is so exhilarating. That’s something to look forward to.
Chat with your loved one. Discover what is important to him or her. Help them rediscover their sometimes forgotten, yet meaningful, small dreams. We promise you that just the conversation alone will improve the quality of life.
Fill up their calendar with holidays. Start making plans and preparations with them. Give them something truly exhilarating to look forward to in 2016 and they will start looking at the world through rose colored glasses.
With love for the Elderly…