Christmas (or other significant event) Worries

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Tender Face, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    I know this thread won't be popular with Skye (Hazel) but I have seen at least two people already post about their anxieties about Christmas and I am starting to wonder the issue of Christmas (or any other Holy Day or celebration for other faiths and cultures) almost doesn't deserve a year-round thread ....

    Some of us are already worrying about what we might do. Me included. If we are to book something special then we need to be arranging it now .. And how to balance the needs and wants of others? Hubby, good as he is with mum, is already fed up we haven't managed a proper break this year .... he'd like to go away somewhere ...... so would I!!!!!! A million miles away preferably ......

    Without the support of an extended family, anyone have any ideas how to plan to make Christmas at least 'manageable' if not special for a small family whose lives are dominated by mum's needs? (And to include making her needs a priority too?)

    Thanks, Karen, x
  2. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Hi Tenderface,Don't know where abouts you live in the northwest.Given a chance i would say bring your mum to mine.I would take care of her whilst you had a break!you certainly need it.You see me and mine haven't got to this stage YET,I would hope that when it does come there is someone who is willing to help.Can the S/W arrange respite care?To allow you and your family to have the break.Perhaps if they you could bring her home for the day and then get back to being a family .Like I said I would most gladly relieve you of the pressure for the day.If only i could.god bless and take elainex
  3. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Karen, I have no objection at all to this thread. Christmas is a very painful time for me, as is Easter, and Mothering Sunday. And yes, it is difficult to decide how to 'celebrate' when there are members of the family no longer with us, or so ill that they do not understand what is being celebrated.

    Those are my most painful times (plus of course birthdays and anniversaries, but they are more personal). People of other cultures will have other painful times.

    All that concerns me is that people respect the feelings and beliefs of others, even if they don't agree.

    So yes, by all means discuss arrangements, and I may well join in the discussion, but please everyone, be respectful of the feelings of others.

    Love to all, whatever your beliefs.
  4. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Mothering Sunday cuts me to shreds for personal reasons ..... but hey ho - I respect other people's feelings on that too ......:(
  5. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Dear Skye.what a lovely reply to the post.I just want to take everyones pressure off them.I am seriously considering applying for a home manager post i have seen in the local paper.I will have to do level 4 NVQ.Don't actually care about the finance and business side of the job,the residents are my concern!In fact if Camelot ever decide its my turn to win the lottery,a home is where my heart elainex
  6. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    THAT, Hazel, is precisely what I am asking of you now - to NOT dictate to others when it might be appropriate to discuss certain things ..... we've all got our own problems, grief and losses and triggers .... that thoughts of Christmas causes anxiety to someone in the middle of June - or February - surely should not mean that anxiety is discounted because one member finds it difficult to deal with until (in the Christian world) we have reached Advent?

    Back to my original post - and many thanks for the offer Elaine -:) but you have hit the point precisely. How could I enjoy Christmas knowing I had 'left' mum? How can I balance my family wishing to 'leave' mum in the care of others so that we can 'enjoy' ourselves?

    It has been hard enough 'celebrating' special occasions since my father and other family members died ..... we have struggled through a few difficult Christmases ....and I sense it won't be getting much easier for a while ...... :(

    I am simply asking for ideas ...
  7. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    I'll make this public.

    Karen, you started off this thread with a reference to Skye. There was no possible reason to do that, you could have simply posted what you wanted to say, and then reacted appropriately to any replies.

    Skye replied in words I probably would have used myself - non-inflammatory - just explaining the basis on which all posts should be made.

    You returned, presumably after thinking, and again posted at a personal level, referring to things that were new to this thread.

    This is for all members: please think of threads as discrete entities that do not have relevance to past communications or newer members become confused [older ones too], and bear in mind that moderators are there sometimes to tell members what they may and may not discuss.

    Karen, you may consider I'm doing that now, and if so you'd be incorrect as far as subject matter is concerned, but correct for tone and wording.

    Take out the spikes from your messages and the messages still retain relevance.

    Please can you try to do that?
  8. barraf

    barraf Registered User

    Mar 27, 2004
    #8 barraf, Aug 23, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007
  9. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Sussex
    You and your husband obviously need a break, so respite care for your mum seems the best option for you.

    It isn't ideal, but you need to be as well as you can in order to continue to care for your Mum.

  10. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    Last Christmas was a difficult time for us as a family, as it was the first one without my mother-in-law and we all missed her. My Mum was in the Nursing Home and hardly knew that it was Christmas, but she did enjoy her visitors and presents.
    This Christmas we won't have Mum with us, as she died in May. It will be very sad time and a period of grieving again possibly, but we do have my daughter's wedding to look forward to next July.
    It seems as though we have a new beginning and future ahead of us, but without some of our loved ones. The last few years have been very hard as Mum's health became worse and worse and she seemed to be suffering so much.
    When we think about the years that Mum needed so much care and attention, perhaps in the years to come, it won't seem like such a long time.
    I don't know what to say or do to help Karen, or anyone else, but the difficult times will pass and the situation will gradually change. Maybe there could be an extra celebration day, with just the immediate family, while Christmas is shared with the whole family, including Mum.
    We tried to find compromises which attempted to keep everyone happy. I don't know whether we succeeded, but Mum seemed to find it tiring if there were too many people around.
  11. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    There was very good reason to me. I was prompted to post this thread after reading Amy's concerns for Christmas on a different thread which prompted me voicing my own concerns .. ... I was also mindful of Skye's 'not yet' instruction on that thread .... which - for anyone trying to make any plans - however provisional they might be - is simply not practical .....

    Perhaps if people read 'I know this won't be popular with Skye' as acknowledgement of her feelings already expressed on the forum instead of seeing it as a 'spiked' message .... I might stand a chance of not being publicly vilified ..... I will try to remember the 'discrete entities' rule if I ever post a new thread in future.

    Trying desperately to get back to the issue in hand .......

    Thank you Elaine, Frank, Kathleen and Kayla for your constructive thoughts ..... I think my dream is that we could all go away somewhere where there would be something for everyone - but with a 'lady's companion' (do they still have them?) for mum to take the heat off us and allow us time as a family ...... Oh well, I'll keep thinking .....

  12. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    I am not a full time carer but I try to make time both for my Mum and family on celebratory days.

    When we lived 200 miles away we would travle to the inlaws so I could spend a little time with Mum as my sibling refused to go down at Christmas. I would spend time with my sons opening presents and then once they were occupied with their new toys slip off for a wee while with Mum.

    Last year after we moved my sons managed to have Christmas in their own home for the first time they could remember. Again we opened presents and I drove 30 miles to visit Mum, spent a little time and then returned home for our meal (thank goodness DH is a good cook)

    For me it is about feeling as little regret (and therefore guilt!) as possible. I am afraid that If I do not spend a little time at Christmas with her I may regret it afterwards but I do miss the time away from my little boys on the day.

    I think for each of us with all our relationships and responsibilities what constitutes the best balance is difficult. I have long accepted that lunch with Mum is impossible given my young kids so have balanced it as best I can. I am not saying it is perfect but I know it is the best I can do in my situation. I contrast the sheer delight of my sons with the confusion (and possibly this year) of a lady who may not even know me when I take time away to go to her.

    It isn't easy.

  13. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #13 Margarita, Aug 23, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007
    Now that does sound so sad that , that can happen.

    My brother went missing for a few days , so police ask me for photo of him only photo I could find was a photo my daughter had in her photo album of him at Christmas , they he was sitting on bed few years back , mum in her chair table , in the middle us all siting around it on the floor ( long story how we where living at in those day)

    My point ? I don't know , but as I look back on those days , I remember it did not feel great all so **** together , children accommodating mum behaviour arguments , but it feel great now looking at that photo , because we where all together .

    I do hope Karen that you can come up with something that make you feel good , respite does sound good like barraf said
    that so true

    Just like to also add , as I was told that respite is not only for the carer , but all the family that living with the carer , meaning children , husbands ext
  14. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    Hi Karen

    All year round you try to balance the needs and wants of others. If you and yours want to go away at Crimbo, then I think, as others have suggested, respite care for your mum is the way to go. I know, however, that this will leave you feeling incredibly guilty. But what to do? As you're trying to get some more support now from the CPN et al, why not start putting feelers out with them and get their view. (I was told that they are there for me as well as my mum.)

    Whichever route you take you are bound to feel it's not the right one, I know it's hell, but you're doing your best. What about a long weekend or a few days away whilst mum is in respite or with rellys - at least you have some down time away from her? As you know, I'm in a similar boat. As previous years, mum will be with us!

    I love my mum to bits, but what I wouldn't give to be able to bathe in a hot tub of red wine on Christmas day, comfortable in the knowledge that mum was being fed and watered elsewhere ... we can dream!

  15. Kate P

    Kate P Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    Hi Karen,

    I'm sorry this is such a difficult issue for you - I think that festivities that have always been made much of in the family can be very difficult in a new dynamic.

    I am very fortunate in that I have wonderful in laws who welcome my mum and dad to their house for Christmas, which also helps to take the pressure of us for the day.

    I sense there is no one to do this for you?

    I wondered whether it would be possible for you and your family to go away the week before Christmas and possibly arrive back home on Christmas Eve so you all still get a Christmasy break but without having your mum in respite for the day.

    Another possibility is as you said - can you find a carer-companion who could spend a few days with you and your family over Christmas and so take the pressure off you by providing all the care your mum needs? You could also be providing a nice Christmas for that person as there are lots of people out there who have no one to share their Christmas with.

    I hope you find a good plan and wish I could help you more.

    Kate P
  16. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Dear Karen,

    It also occurs to me that you could possibly plan a Christmas Day celebration with your Mum, and then celebrate with the rest of the family on Boxing Day (or possibly Christmsas Eve??). Or you and your hubby could take a few days away by yourself immediately after Christmas, so as to have a break together??

    Only you can know what would suit you and your's best, but I do think you are wise to give your hubby some undivided time if you can. Your hubby sounds a lot like mine - a true gem! But even the best of men (or women ;) ) cannot fail to want some time with their partner without the interruption of the person with dementia.

    My hubby and I had a week away in July and it was a godsend, from all points of view. Well worth the effort - and even worth the feelings of guilt that go with it!! :)

    Whatever you decide, I hope you have a truly happy time (in so far as that is possible for any of us in these circumstances).......

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