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Four Ways to get Through the Holidays when Dealing with a Chronic of Serious Illness

Published: 12/26/2014

KANSAS CITY, KAN.— The stress of the holiday season can be tough on everyone, but what if you or your family is also dealing with a serious or chronic illness?

Turning Point: The Center for Hope and Healing, Kansas City’s highly respected patient support organization has four tips for those families to help them navigate the holiday season.

Cathy Pendleton, Adult Program Director at Turning Point, offers four basic tips to deal with both the illness and the season.

  • Have Realistic Expectations 
    Keep your schedule simple and try to avoid piling on additional tasks.  Everyone will be better off for the season if the celebration is manageable under current health conditions.
  • Use Your Support Network
    Accept help when friends call and ask what they can do.  Keep a list handy of tasks that friends and family can do that will take tasks over your list and give them to others.  People really do want to help, so let them.
  • Take Care of Yourself Physically
    Be especially disciplined about eating right and getting adequate amounts of sleep.
  • Take Time to Breathe  
    In spite of best intentions, things can still pile up over the holidays, so take every opportunity to stop in order to take a few deep breaths before proceeding.

Turning Point provides support for patients, their families and caregivers dealing with serious illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease and Parkinson’s.  Turning Point provides classes, activities and education at its Leawood facility.  Patients say the coping skills Turning Point provides are more important during the holiday.

Interviews with Erika Farthing, Overland Park, Cancer Patient and Cathy Pendleton, Adult Program Director, Turning Point.

Pendleton says Turning Point needs continuous philanthropic support to maintain its programs at no charge for those with serious illnesses, their families and their caregivers.

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