You can’t think “holidays” without thinking “family gatherings.” It’s a time to reconnect after a year apart, sharing old traditions and making new. Family gatherings, however, are also linked with another word: chaos. Pack dozens of people of all ages into one house, and the energy is endless. Juggling an injury or assistive equipment with a get-together can add another layer of insanity. Bulow Orthotics and Prosthetics wants to help you make the most of your time with loved ones with these pointers for a smoother holiday gathering:

·         Alert the host ahead of time: Your back may need a real bed instead of an air mattress, or you’re not sure that your assistive shower chair will fit outside of your own bathroom. If you need special accommodations, let your host know well in advance, allowing them to adjust their home or help you secure alternative arrangements.

·         Have an answer ready to go: Cousins may be curious about your orthotic or prosthetic if it’s a new addition since last you met. Preparing your response ahead of time to FAQs (“What exactly happened?” “Does it hurt?” “How does it work?”) will give you control of information you want to share.

·         Know how to say “no”: Some questions may be too invasive, or you’re not comfortable giving nitty-gritty details. In those situations, it’s completely okay to decline a response. Go into the family affair with your polite but firm “I’d rather not answer that question” response ready to go.

·         Bring an activity for all: The central event of your family gathering may include a physical activity, such as a game of football or window shopping downtown. If you’re physically unable to participate in the big event, bring an alternative option all family members can participate in, such as a White Elephant gift exchange or a movie trivia game.

·         Take a breather: With so many personalities crammed into one house, family gatherings are exhausting enough. Throw an accommodation in the mix, and you’re even more likely to feel drained. Find a thirty-minute chunk of time in a quiet place so you can redress wounds, readjust equipment, or squeeze in a power nap without dozens of eyes watching.

It may be hectic, but your family gathering shouldn’t be limited by your physical accommodation. At Bulow OPS, we want to help you live each day to its fullest, accommodations notwithstanding. Give us a call at Bulow to get in touch with experts excited to help you succeed.