Some people look at this holiday season as a joyous time; others look at it with dread. Buying gifts, putting up decorations, cooking, baking, entertaining – there is a lot to do. Do these things sound fun or frustrating?
If you are a family caregiver for a senior loved one, you might dread having to do all of these extra things because you are already overwhelmed. Caring for your loved one takes time – cooking meals, feeding, grooming, medicating…the list could go on and on. That is on top of everything else you have to do – spouse, kids, activities, friends, career. The list of activities never ends! Then add all the hustle and bustle of the holidays on top of it and you might find it hard to keep afloat.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Especially at this time of the year, we all should have gratitude for the things we have. Finding peace, even in the small things, is not impossible. Although there may be some added work, the holidays can still be joyous.
Here are 5 tips to help you make the most of the holiday season:
· Make a list and check it twice. If it works for Santa, it can work for you too! Do you need to shop for gifts? Identify who you are shopping for, what they want and where you will find it. Do your homework online before you go. If you are so inclined, get your shopping done online and save yourself the trip to the mall. Is there extra baking and cooking to get ready for company? Pull out your recipes, check your ingredients and make sure you have what you need. This will save you from having to make multiple trips to the grocery store. The time you save from making fewer trips to the store can be used for doing something fun with your family instead.
· Get the family involved in baking or cooking. Did your mom used to make special Christmas cookies? Or was there a special dish that she made for dinner? Get your loved one involved with a holiday activity. Let your mom measure flour, use the cookie cutter to stamp out cookie shapes, or put icing/sprinkles on the special holiday cookies. This gets mom involved in the activity while being engaged with you or even the grandkids. Why not let them help as well and create new memories and traditions! It’s a win-win.
· Go to a holiday event. Almost every town has some sort of holiday event happening in the next few weeks. Is there a parade, light festival, concert, bazaar or other event happening nearby? Do your kids have school concerts or parties where family members are invited? Find something the whole family can go to and enjoy the time together. Make sure to mark the occasion with a couple of pictures that you can print for your loved one as a memento of the time together.
· Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect! No one said that every cookie has to be perfectly iced, every ornament in exactly the right place or every package wrapped with the perfect ribbon and bows. Sometimes the most memorable events are the ones when things aren’t perfect. “Remember when Uncle Joe spelled mom’s name wrong on the package?” “Remember when mom let us put the ornaments on the tree and we each divided up our sections?” Those were the good ‘ol days!
· Remember the reason for the season. In the whole scheme of things, it’s okay if there is one less cookie or perfectly-wrapped package. If you can spend more time with your family sitting by a fire, singing a carol, or watching a classic movie, your holiday season will be a success!
At Assisting Hands® Home Care, our goal is to provide our clients with the help they need to keep them safely in their own home for longer. We also provide a respite for a family caregiver who needs a break from their caregiving duties or who can’t manage all those duties by themselves any longer.
Whether you need someone to be with your loved one during the day, in the evening or overnight, our at-home care can accommodate your needs. You will have peace of mind knowing that they aren’t home alone when they need help with medication, fall prevention, personal care, eating or other needs.