The holiday season can be very difficult, both logistically and emotionally, for caregivers. Whether you’re caring for your loved one at home or working through a transition to a nursing home or other care facility, the holidays can present unique challenges for any family. If you’re a caregiver, check out these five tips for caregiving during the holidays and handling the added pressure the holidays can bring.
1. Accept help from others.
Though it may be difficult, accepting help from others will keep you from becoming overwhelmed. The holiday season is hectic and stressful, so taking things off your plate will help keep you sane.
2. Take care of yourself.
The best thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones is to make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating enough healthy and nutrient-rich foods, and taking moments to recenter yourself. If you’re not at your best, then you won’t be able to provide the best possible care for your loved one.
3. Keep your expectations realistic.
For many, the holidays are about getting together with family and celebrating. When planning family gatherings, make sure to keep you loved one’s abilities in mind. Are they up for a large gathering with lots of people, or would it be better to have a small gathering with fewer people? Can your loved one travel, or should you consider bringing the celebration to them?
4. Take shortcuts where you can.
Look at your schedule and find ways to take a few shortcuts this year. Don’t have time to go holiday shopping? Order something online or go with gift cards this year. Struggling to make time to cook an elaborate meal? Get takeout from your favorite restaurant and swing by a bakery for dessert.
5. Make new traditions.
Focus on what is most meaningful to you and your family. If you can’t do something this year that you’re used to doing, come up with a new plan that can create new meaning!
Caregiving during the holidays and celebrating a little differently can be hard. However, no matter how difficult they may seem, try to remember to go with the flow and make the most of what your loved one can do. Time is precious, so make sure to cherish the moments with your lived ones. If you’re looking for help during the holiday season, be sure to look into our respite care services available at our Chesterwood and Birchwood locations.