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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Bell

Seeing Family on Easter Weekend?

For those who observe Easter, it can be a weekend for reflection and renewal.  For others it is a time to celebrate a three or four day weekend among family and friends.   For many it is both. It can mean time spent with an #aging #parent or parents.  Are they doing OK?  Are there any #health or #mobility issues that may signal a change is on the horizon?

I know that my own much loved Mom, while she was still alive, would prepare for family get-togethers with as much energy as she could possibly muster, and then essentially collapse in exhaustion once everyone went home.  Much as Mom was reluctant to admit it, and honestly, so were we, it was all getting to be too much for her.  She would shop for the groceries and fresh flowers and prepare her traditional, yummy favourites but, comforting as all of that was, it clearly was time for the rest of us to take over the hosting.  Change was #inevitable and new, less demanding traditions were created.

Admittedly #familyDynamics are not always easy to navigate and it may be that one or more of your #siblings may see or not see what you are observing.  I feel very fortunate that the families who I work with generally all went the best for Mom and/or Dad but they don’t always agree on what that best may look like.

We want to hold on to what gives us comfort and I have observed that sometimes the older adult has an easier time #managingChange than one or more of the adult children.  And then there are the spouses and partners. The older adults’ voice can be hard to hear sometimes over the varied perspectives in the room … .

Objectively, does your parents’ home still meet their needs? Are Mom and/or Dad essentially living in two or three rooms with the rest of their house being used for storage? Are they still able to manage the #stairs and keep up with any required maintenance?  Will your parents need some in-home #assistance or does a move to a condo or #assistedLiving seam more feasible?

Have you even voiced your concerns?  Your communication style may be low-key but your brother or sister may have a really short fuse… .

What do you do when you want to help but you know that tempers will flare? What do you do when you when you love your family members but you know that your personalities and working styles just don’t mix? What do you do when you realize that you simply lack the #patience to ensure that things will go smoothly during your parent’s move?

First let me say that you are definitely not alone!  Everyone handles change differently and stress typically does not bring out the best in any family.  Watching health decline in ourselves or our loved ones is just plain scary.

Your aging parents are in a particularly tough situation.  No one likes to think that their kids know best and their #autonomy is in jeopardy. The familiar feels safer than the unknown even when it is becoming clear that the familiar isn’t safe at all… .

Adult children, typically in their 50’s or 60’s and often with kids of their own, often don’t have the time to devote to the softer, empathic demands of the project at hand.  Devoting a couple of Saturdays is one thing but typically no one has the time these days to deal with the demands of an unexpected health care #emergency or to face the daunting challenges of a major move  to what is usually smaller space. “Sandwich generation” boomers are being stretched really, really thin and Mom and/or Dad’s seeming reluctance to make even the smallest decisions can be extremely frustrating.

It is often the most caring of families that engage a professional when a move management need develops.  Involving   a knowledgeable and objective third party can deliver peace of mind for all involved.

With my background in mental health support, crisis intervention and dispute resolution combined with five years of successful Senior Move Management experience, I can bring a sensitive and specialized skill-set to your upcoming transition.

As you spend some time with family on Easter Weekend, please ask yourselves if you or your Mom and Dad might benefit from a #complimentary #consultation within the GTA.  

We can help to ensure that your move skips right over:  “Feeling overwhelmed.” and moves right into:  “Why didn’t we do this earlier?”

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