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December News and Events

It's the Holiday Season!

Best wishes from all of us at The Gardens! Below you will find the latest news and events happening in our facility!

 

Holiday Brunch

To celebrate the holidays The Gardens of Cedar Rapids will be hosting a festive holiday brunch for all tenants and their loved ones! The brunch is scheduled for Friday, December 22nd at 10am. Enjoy great food, time with friends and family, and be sure to stick around for a special performance by our resident bell choir at noon! To R.S.V.P., please contact Eva by phone at (319)930-8768 or by email at ecoblentz@thegardenscr.com . If emailing or leaving a voicemail, be sure to include which resident you will be attending with and how many will be joining! We look forward to seeing you!

Joining us for a different meal?

We love having guests and visitors eat with us! If you plan to join us for a meal, please let us know a minimum of 24 hours in advance, especially if you plan to join us for a holiday meal. All meals cost $5 with the exception of our monthly brunch (which are free for tenants and their invited guests). Please give your $5 to any staff member before or at the time of the meal. We look forward to having you with us!

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Reminders for our tenants and families

Remember to label clothes

Tenants often receive clothing as a gift for the holidays. If your loved one resides in either our long term care or skilled nursing facility, please remember to label their clothes with their name. We want to ensure all laundry is returned to the appropriate owner. For any questions please see Brenda, our Housekeeping Supervisor. Thank you for your help with this! 

Moving in? Bringing any electronic devices? Talk to Terry!

All electronic devices (anything that can be plugged into the wall) being moved into our facility needs to be checked by our Maintenance Director, Terry. He will ensure that all devices are safe and up to fire code. If you did not do this when you initially moved yourself or a loved one in, please see Terry as soon as possible. For any questions, Terry would be happy to answer them! Thank you! 

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Visit us!

At Coffee Club

Come join us very Monday morning at 9am in The Gardens' Piano Lounge!  All are welcome! Receive a complimentary Gardens coffee mug on your first visit and enjoy some great coffee, company, and conversation with our Community Relations Director, Andrea!  

For other fun and festive events happening in our facility, check out our activity calendars!

http://www.thegardenscr.com/activity-calendar/

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You're in luck!

Assisted Living Apartments Available!

Contact Andrea Weiss BS RN, to schedule a tour and reserve yours before they are all gone!

(319)930-6666

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Healthy Habits

Spread joy, not germs!

Help us keep our tenants healthy this winter season by following the guidelines below!

(Courtesy of Safety Signs)

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The holidays are not always "the most wonderful time of the year!" If you or a loved one are grieving this holiday season, the article below may offer some helpful thoughts to get you through.

Grief and the Holidays: Planning to Walk Through Holiday Grief and Sadness Together

Author: Dale Susan Edmonds, talk-early-talk-often.com

The challenge of holiday grief after a parent's death can feel insurmountable. You have managed through the end of life issues. You negotiated and handled services of remembrance and all the details that followed. Things finally began to settle down, and now it's time to plan for the first holidays. Grief and the holidays can provide unexpected triggers for all kinds of strong emotions. People are often lulled into believing that the worst is behind them, when holiday grief "hits them" without warning.

The problem is that grief has its own timelines that can't be calculated, its own logic that can't be deciphered, and makes its appearances at will.


 
 

The temptation would be to go to one emotional extreme or the other -- denial or to go into hiding. Many families resort to going through the motions because they assume (often wrongly) that that's what everyone else wants to do. They don't want to make Mom or Dad even more uncomfortable, so they silently vow not to mention the name of the deceased, or the holiday grief they share, and go on with the family events "as usual".

Only there is no "as usual" any more. The gap that has been left is real. The roles have changed and therefore the "holiday rules" have to change, too. 

Take the Next Step

Plan Ahead

What you want is to have conversation with Mom or Dad and with your brothers and sisters about the fact that this holiday is going to be radically different. Get a sense of where everyone is emotionally, and what they fear, dread or look forward to about the holidays. Don't expect immediate agreement about what should be done. Grieving is personal and takes different forms for everyone. Families DON'T grieve alike and that can be a source of tension and conflict.

Know what you need or want, check in with Mom or Dad and try to move forward from there with the negotiations. 

Common Dilemmas

Your loved one isn't open with their feelings and you're not sure what they need.
Write a note to them ahead of the holidays, and address the issues of holiday grief directly.

Let them know that:
1. You know that this is going to be a difficult time.
2. You all will be missing Mom/Dad and you know he will be especially.
3. You want to make sure that things are comfortable for them, so if he has an idea of what he does or doesn't want, you'll be asking. Give him a couple of days to think about it... and then ASK.

Someone is afraid of "losing it."
"Losing it" is OK, if that means not being in total control and having to deal with a feeling of intense and unexpected sadness. Grief is not something that we can set on a timer, be done, and wrap it up and put it away neatly. Grief is messy, hard, surprising and NOT welcome. 

Avoidance, hiding, denial, putting on a happy face to mask holiday grief may all seem useful in a specific instance, but they won't make the grief go away. It won't make the grief clear out any faster. And it won't make the journey any easier. But the only way to get it over with is to go THROUGH IT.

I feel like I/Mom/Dad should be father along than this... what if someone breaks into tears?

There is no such thing as being farther along. There is no timeline that he has to meet. Tears at dinner -- no problem. Acknowledge them. It's no cause for shame and you need to let him know. He's never been through anything like this, and neither have you. So unexpected things will happen. Uncharacteristic behaviors will show up.

I'm worried how this will affect the grandkids...
This is a great time to talk to them again about grief and build their sense of empathy. Ask about how they are feeling... what would make them uncomfortable... what they might fear. Again, valid feelings... emotions aren't wrong. Give them permission to write, draw or say what they are feeling. And let them know that people may be acting strangely, that's what grief does... and it's OK.

Be Prepared

Some family members may be more short-tempered than normal. There may be more arguments about small things. Some may be more boisterous than usual. Some may be more quiet and withdrawn than usual. Be prepared to keep yourself on an even keel. Get your rest, keep eating well. If you do drink, only moderately -- one or two drinks at most. You need to keep a clear head to navigate all the erratic emotions of holiday grief.

Redistribute the Roles Ahead of Time

Do you want to replicate traditions in this new reality without Mom or Dad, or do you want to do something entirely different this year and re-evaluate later?

Will we go to a restaurant or eat at home? Whose home? Will the meal be cooked or catered? Who will cook? Will the menu change at all? Who will make the dishes that Mom always made? Who will do the jobs that Mom always did? Be affirming of everyone's efforts. People will do their best, but it will never be "just like Mom did it..."

Figure Out How to Acknowledge Them

What would work in your family?

...a toast before dinner?
...a special prayer?
...her picture in a prominent place?
...a tribute written and read by the grand children?
...telling funny stories of remembrance?
...putting on her favorite dinner music?
...singing a favorite song?
...looking at old photo albums and telling stories the children may not know?

Permission Granted

Give yourself and your family permission to be creative. There is no right or wrong way to be together in holiday grief. The key is to go through it and know that you are all going through it together no matter what method you choose.

 

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