Caregiving During the Holidays 101
Whether you’re traveling to see loved ones for the holidays or staying home, caregivers don’t get a “holiday break”. Taking care of loved ones is inevitable for some of us and it can get tiring and exhausting during the holidays.
To-do lists can get hectic during the holidays. It is important that family caregivers know that it’s okay to step back, breathe, and enjoy the holiday for what it is. Focus on creating memories with your family and loved ones instead of focusing on the to-do lists.
Here are some tips to help keep the “love” for your loved one during the holidays:
Stick with the familiar
Staying in a location familiar to your loved one will decrease the opportunity for anxiety and over-stimulation. Creating an environment with familiar scents, foods and family traditions can help elicit joyful memories.
Avoid over stimulation
Simplify activities and reduce noise as much as possible. Without putting a damper on the fun, consider small groups of guests for longer periods of time, or for a large group, set up a comfortable, quiet space for your loved one and have guests visit individually or in pairs.
Set realistic expectations
As the caregiver, you know your loved one the best. Understand it’s okay to set limits and create a guest plan you are comfortable with, keeping in mind flexibility is the key. Keep everything as simple as possible, you might consider a potluck themed get together and have your guests bring food.
Communicate with guests in advance
Update your guests on your loved one’s current health prior to getting together. Let your guests know if there are any physical or emotional changes they need to be aware of. This will be beneficial for both you and your guests. Your guests will have a chance to prepare for the difficult changes we have to face with an aging loved one. For you, it will increase the likelihood of a more peaceful, enjoyable visit for your loved one.
Take a moment for yourself
Everyone needs a moment to themselves at the holidays, especially caregivers! Enjoy having additional family and friends over to help out. Allowing others, especially those who are not able to visit as much, to have these special moments with their loved one is a blessing. In the meantime, take advantage of the opportunity to eat dessert, grab that cup of tea or pour a glass of wine. Renew, re-energize and love yourself this holiday season!
By Holly Wise
If you are caring for a loved one and are unsure of where to begin, a Cariloop Healthcare Coach can help sort our what is needed in a particular situation – especially during the Holidays. Become a member or call 1-844-790-5667 to get started.
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