Here are some things to help you move on to start healing the trauma and start moving forward instead of being stuck
By Kathleen Wright Brawn
The Holidays are here and while it is supposed to be a joyful family time, those of us who have gone through or is going through the trauma of isolation from a loved one, it can be an empty, painful time.
I know for myself last Christmas I could barely get out of bed. I didn't put up a tree or lights and could hardly wait to get home from dinner at my mom's so I could go back to bed.
In 2012, my deep depression was triggered by the fact my father's caretaker took my 80 yr old father, who suffered from dementia, back east on Christmas Day. She did this without letting my siblings and I know where they were going or when they were coming back. She refused to answer our calls and emails.
The isolation had started.
It's important that all of us who have experienced isolation from a loved one realize they have been traumatized and could later suffer from PTSD. Isolation is a crime not just against our loved one but against the whole family and friends of that loved one.
It is so important to realize that our separation from our loved one will create anxiety. From thoughts of "Is my dad being fed and given his meds" to "Does he think I abandoned him?" Separation can also cause fear, anger, sadness, guilt, confusion.
So many feelings in a large degree can cause your brain to shut down because it can't process thoughts and feelings. This can cause someone to numb out, forget things, lose words to express themselves, act indifferent, or have outburst of tears or anger. These symptoms of trauma can last years, especially if the isolation of the loved one continues.
Holidays have major triggers for those feelings to return. Since it's a time for family and traditions that alone will bring memories of missing family members.
Because of this, it is so important to remember that you did not cause this situation. You did not fail your parent. There was nothing you "should have" done or said to prevent what happened. Blaming yourself does nothing.
Here are some things to help you move on to start healing the trauma and start moving forward instead of being stuck:Read more
By Kimberly Martinez
What should you pay attention to when choosing a companion for your golden years? It pretty much comes down to three basic things:
2. Energy level, and
3. Health and temperate history
Throughout centuries “man’s best friend” has been reserved as a title for canine companions. But as time progresses and we start to age, the demands of caring for “man’s best friend” can be too much for certain people.
Should that mean that we give up on dogs completely? No. It means it’s time to find a dog which suits your current lifestyle.
Size means a lot because there will be times you have to physically deal with your dog. From your everyday walk to giving him the affection he needs, physically dealing with a heavier dog may become progressively more difficult. Because of this, size is something you should consider. If you’re living with someone, bigger may be manageable, but if you are alone a smaller dog is probably best.
Now, some people automatically assume that if you get a smaller dog it will be less work, but guess what? That’s definitely not true. Most of my life I have had smaller dogs and for the most part, they were easy to handle until my Jack Russell, little “Geronimo.” And let me tell you, his energy is through the roof. I constantly have to be checking on him and making sure he is letting out his stored energy safely, which isn’t always easy. He is living proof that smaller doesn’t mean easier. But if you think you can deal with high energy no matter what then don’t be afraid. You know yourself and what you will be capable of handling.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, is your dog’s health and temperate history. Most people hitting their senior years are on a fixed income while some are living off of their retirement. Why does this matter? Because some dogs are prone to diseases which means having to pay vet bills. If you are low on money, this will eventually put you between a rock and a hard place.
When deciding on a dog, make sure you ask about prior health history, along with health concerns about that specific breed. One suggestion that may help you is to get a dog who is already an adult. This will help you determine health history along with temper. Temper will become especially important, especially if you have younger kids around.