Holidays and COVID and Aging Parents – 7 Tips to Save the 2020 Holidays




It’s that Holiday time of year again. BUT it’s 2020, so for all of us it will be a different kind of Christmas as we navigate visitation with loved ones.


Any typical family holiday can be a bit dysfunctional during good times. Add in COVID and an elderly parent with possible memory issues and you’ve got the makings for crazy time. To help you get through the 2020 holidays, here are my 7 Tips to Save the Holidays.


7 Tips to Save the 2020 Holidays


1. Remember, it’s a holiday event and NOT a family meeting. If you want to discuss issues about Mom or Dad, do it at another time. Make the holidays pleasant for all.


2. Remember that it’s Christmas and not all about you. Keep a positive attitude for the sake of your aging parent(s) if they are there, your own kids, your nieces and nephews, and your adult siblings.


3. Have a family meeting to discuss COVID restrictions and the best way to stay safe, which might mean a zoom meal. Do not exclude anyone in the decision. Again, it’s about building a team effort. Listen and let everyone have their say.


4. Call ahead and arrange to split the bill if you order individual meals from a restaurant due to COVID – ahead of time- again team effort and no embarrassing credit card bargaining at the table that only brings on more fights.


5. Keep your alcohol in check. You can’t control anyone else but you can control and even change yourself. We all say things we may regret with lots of nervous drinking.


6. Check out in-person family meeting tools and some free online meeting tools. If you have an aging parent, you can arrange care between siblings with an online, after the holiday meeting -- not in midst of holiday visit.


7. Hire an Aging Life Care Manager (a/k/a Geriatric Care Manager) to facilitate a family meeting.


Merry Christmas!


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Patti Urban, CSA, is the CEO of Aging Care Planning Solutions, an aging life care management company that assists the elderly and their families with advance care planning as well as guidance for patients with life-limiting illnesses. She can be reached at www.agingcarePS.com.


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