It’s Easier Than Puttin’ Up a Fight

Happy Holidays From the Mason Family

By Attorney Rebecca Mason

We are hosting Thanksgiving this year. We haven’t hosted much of anything since the height of the pandemic.  So we are quite a bit out of practice getting the home ready for a big group.    

Wednesday evening, my husband and I attempted to get the home ready with the kids’ help.  It quickly devolved to too much yelling and too many sternly-worded directives. He and I kept locking eyes with frustration at their lack of assistance.

And then the kids broke into song.

Our youngest performed Annie Jr. on the community theatre stage last weekend in front of packed crowds – many sold out – with his Fine Arts classmates.  They knocked it out of the park. The talent and dedication of the 10 and 11 year old’s was nothing short of impressive.


So then, as our poor children were being forced to sweep and put things away and otherwise ready the home for guests, they began twirling and dancing and singing:

Don’t if feel like the wind is always howl’n? 
Don’t it seem like there’s never any light?
Once a day, don’t you wanna throw the towel in? 
It’s easier than puttin’ up a fight.

It’s the hard-knock life for us
It’s the hard-knock life for us

It was pretty frustrating.  And grounding.

Kids play. That’s what they do. They were trying to turn a chore into something fun. It made a chore less bad.

We need to meet kids where they are.  

We also need to meet our parents where they are.

I have previously written about Thanksgiving being a great time to check in with our elderly loved ones:

For those of us who are lucky enough to have loved ones who are aging, it is a great time to gauge whether there are signs that it is time to play a more active role.  

To be sure, Thanksgiving dinner is not the time to challenge a loved one who may be experiencing memory loss.  Frankly, no time is. When your mom becomes confused and uses the wrong word, maybe gently prompt her. But do not challenge her aggressively.  If your dad keeps repeating the same conversation, engage each time.  Don’t admonish him for repeating himself.  It is scary to lose your memory.  

If they aren’t tracking the conversation or seem to be stuck in the past, meet them where they are.  It is easier than putting up a fight.  And you can’t argue away dementia.

After the holiday, follow up to make sure they are safe.  The Aging and Disability Resource Center is a great resource to help people remain in their home safely as long as possible. https://adrc.racinecounty.com/

It may also be time to consider moving your loved one to a facility.  These are not easy times & the road can be long.  But there are many resources to help.