It’s that time of year again – time for holidays, family gatherings and perhaps a review of what we have accomplished or lived through during the year.

Hopefully by now we have incorporated a few new techniques for managing stress. Have we practiced delegating tasks to others? Have we been able to say “no” (without feeling guilty) to things we just cannot manage? Have we practiced some mindful meditation? And are we pacing ourselves as we accept the fact that we cannot do everything and be everything to everyone?

The holidays are also a time for family gatherings for some of us. It is when siblings come to visit from out of town. It is a time of observation and seeing the changes that have occurred since the last visit. It often becomes a time of family discussions about what is being done, not being done and what needs to be done.

In this issue we provide some tips on holding a family meeting. The family meeting format can lend a structure to these discussions. It can direct the flow of information with a focus on the family mission or goal of planning for safety and care. It provides for honoring the dignity, rights and needs for all involved. Family meetings can help direct the gathering of information regarding resources and options for care which may include strengthening the team perhaps with non-medical home care or other supports.

This time of year is also important for reviewing health insurance and being aware of options in the marketplace. For those with traditional Medicare, no change may be needed. For others it is a time to review individual needs and find the best plan to meet those projected healthcare costs as Sam Boone discusses.

Thank you again for being a    part of this journey. Some last thoughts as we wrap up. Remember that kindness counts, what we do everyday matters, and we are all in this journey together. Hope your holiday season is peaceful and filled with meaningful moments.

Cheryl Robinson, LCSW

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