While the holiday season is joyous for many people, it can present complications for those who are caregivers of the elderly. Janie De Leon-Male, Director of Care Coordination at Rothkoff Law Group, explains, “People love the holidays but many become overwhelmed when coordinating all of the family get-togethers and dinners. When someone is a caregiver, chances are that person is already stressed and this just adds to every day pressures.”

De Leon-Male offers practical advice that can be helpful to caregivers during the holidays season.

  • Scents Bring Back Memories
    • If someone is a caregiver to a loved one with some type of cognitive memory impairment, it’s surprising to discover how one reacts to the scents of the holiday season. De Leon-Male recommends bringing these scents to the forefront. “Did your loved one often bake apple or pumpkin pies, cinnamon buns, or gingerbread during the holiday? Or maybe the scents of holly, mistletoe, or pine were a common sign of the holiday season in your home. A caregiver can take advantage of the many candles in festive or seasonal fragrances. Using some of these scents can create a special time of sharing with your loved one.”
  • Sharing Responsibilities
    • De Leon-Male also recommends giving everyone a job when they’re home. Children are home from college, school-age children are home all day on winter break and in-laws or family may be in visiting. “This is a great time for everyone to feel needed and appreciated,” she says.
  • Enjoy Family Traditions
    • Passing down recipes and family traditions is wonderful with multi-generational families and makes the oldest memories feel valued. De Leon-Male says, “While you’re lucky enough to have a multi-generational household, ask your loved one, if they’re able, to teach your kids the family secret recipe. Or if your kids are older and know the recipe already, ask them to cook with your parent. It’s a great way to allow your loved one to feel useful again. Experiencing the holidays through a grandchild’s eyes could make your loved one feel young again.”
  • Caregivers Need Respite – a little rejuvenation goes a long way
    • Caregivers need to think of themselves sometime and when visiting relatives are around, that’s the perfect time. De Leon-Male says, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others. Visiting relatives would probably like to be useful and relieving the caregiver by doing every day chores or spending time with a loved one, will mean the caregiver can have a respite time to relax and do something they rarely have time to do. Even for a few hours, this can be rejuvenating and everyone benefits.”

About Rothkoff Law Group:

For over a decade, Rothkoff Law Group has been helping clients and their families respond to the legal, financial, physical and psychological challenges associated with the aging process in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Rothkoff Law Group includes hand-selected professionals – attorneys and social workers — who are passionate and dedicated to serving the elderly and their families. The dedicated members of the firm provide customer service and individualized attention to make this seemingly overwhelming process both empowering and rewarding. Rothkoff Law Group headquarters are located at 425 Route 70 West Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 with three other locations in Turnersville, NJ, Trevose, PA and Philadelphia. For more information, email or visit


About Janie

Janie is the Director of Care Coordination for Rothkoff Law Group, and elder law firm. Janie brings a variety of experiences to the team as a graduate of the Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research with her Masters in Social Service. Janie has focused her efforts on empowering and advocating for her elderly clients with the Senior Services Department of Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Southern New Jersey, and the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging. Janie obtained a business degree from St. Joseph’s University. When not in the office, Janie helps to organize and host events for the Filipino-American Association of South Jersey. In addition, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling to Europe and Asia, and at the Jersey Shore.

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