Elder Care Expert Shows Boomers How to Relieve Caregiver Stress: Use Valentine's Day to Say I Love You to Aging Parents

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Elder care expert Esther Koch provides insight into how Boomers can use Valentine's Day to express sentiments of love to their aging parents. It is the perfect stress reliever from the challenges of elder caregiving and in the process creates Moments of Joy, those memories that will last a lifetime.

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May your life be filled with no regrets; may you see the extraordinary in the ordinary; and may someone be there to brighten your world as you age.

Valentine's Day is the perfect day for Boomers to express sentiments of love to their aging parents. "Change the focus of elder care responsibilities on Valentine's Day from all that needs to be done for your parent to all the ways to express your love to your parent. It is the best caregiver stress reliever you will find", states elder care expert Esther Koch. Whether from son or daughter to mother or father, Valentine's Day provides an opportunity to say "I Love You" in a variety of ways. "These are the memories, that I call Moments of Joy, that will last a lifetime", says Koch.

Select a Valentine's Day card with a message that truly reflects you and your feelings. Find an inspirational quote or poem or buy a blank card and personally write your message of love. Have a second copy of whatever card you chose. Read the message out loud to your parent not only on Valentine's Day, but other days as well. "Your parent will truly be touched by this," says Koch.

Think about why you are grateful they are your parent and how they bless your life - then tell them. Koch recommends, "When you say I Love You, say it slowly while looking directly into their eyes and holding their hand. Then give them a kiss and a heartfelt hug."

Make time for a special one-on-one. Go for a walk or a drive, or have a meal together - maybe a brunch, an afternoon tea or make them one of your favorite childhood dishes. If you are a long-distance caregiver make sure your parent knows you will have that special Valentine's Day celebration on your next visit.

"If you have concerns about your parent's health and well being that you have not yet voiced, Valentine's Day can be the perfect day to bring them up," says Koch. When these conversations come from a place of love and compassion, your parents are likely to be more open to them.

"The greatest gift you can give someone is your time. As scarce a commodity for you, it is even more scarce for your parents," emphasizes Koch.

You can read Esther Koch's article, "Kiss the Joy as It Flies By," on Moments of Joy with her mother at http://www.encoremgmt.com/momentsofjoy/kissthejoy.html.

"May your life be filled with no regrets; may you see the extraordinary in the ordinary; and may someone be there to brighten your world as you age."
Esther Koch

About Esther Koch and Encore Management
Esther Koch is a gerontologist and elder care advisor. Her firm, Encore Management, provides personal and corporate advisory services and seminars that assist Boomers with the range of issues associated with caring for aging parents and their own aging. Her media interviews and articles have appeared on television, radio and in print. For more information about Esther Koch and Encore Management visit http://www.encoremgmt.com.

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