TIP of the WEEK: Food Security During Home Visits

November 13, 2015

Latham-Centers3Maintaining food security during the holidays is hard, plain and simple. Maintaining food security when your child is visiting for a home visit is even harder because it is out of your everyday routine which is why it is the most written about topic on The Tip. You are busy, stressed, worried about how your child will tolerate the change in routine and wanting to keep the peace. Here are some ways to make this week as enjoyable as possible for you and your family:
1. Take time before your child comes home to “PWS proof ” your house. If your child only visits during the holidays then have someone who is not as familiar with your home as you are to do a walk through. You have locked the fridge and moved the extra canned foods to a secure location but did you remember the can of loose change you keep on the shelf? Have you removed the candy dish from the dining room table and taken the younger siblings gummy vitamins from the top of the fridge?
2. Do you have a plan for the holiday party if your son or daughter cannot maintain safety? Don’t go with a group that will all have to leave if you do. If the party is 2 hours away, have a plan to stay in a hotel if need be. A 2 hour drive with a child with PWS who is escalated is trying at best and dangerous at worst. Staying over at someone else’s home even for one night is risky even if you have explained the need for security. If you do not live this life, you don’t get it. Period.
3. Schedule time with your other kids so you can be alone with them. This is their holiday too and if you want to maintain or develop a healthy relationship it cannot be all about their siblings needs.
4. Find some time for yourself. This is so important. If you live close to your residential provider ask if you can hire a staff person for a few hours to come to your home and watch your child while you take some time to be alone, run errands, or attend a party that may be too stressful for your child.
We wish you all a very happy holiday and want the safest and most enjoyable time for you and your family. You deserve it!

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Patrice Carroll is Latham Centers’ world-renowned Prader-Willi Syndrome specialist. She works with Latham Centers’ residents with PWS, their families and consultants, continuously learning and teaching about PWS best practices. 

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