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Caregiving During the Holiday Season

Here are some suggestions to help make this time of year more joyous and enjoyable for everyone…

Keeping it balanced
  1. Don’t be afraid to say “No, thank you”; and, only agree to do something if it’s comfortably manageable.
  2. Many people have time off during the holidays; and, even if not, people are usually more willing to help.  So, take advantage of this to improve communication and connections and get more support from your network of family and friends.
  3. Specifically, ask family or friends to provide some respite from your caregiving. Just a few hours can help renew your energy.
  4. Be mindful that circumstances change, so some “traditions” may not work anymore.  Don’t force it.  And, if it makes sense, use that change to start a new tradition.
Season-specific caring tips
  1. Schedule activities early in the day if possible.  For someone ill or injured, their fatigue and stress levels can increase throughout the day.
  2. Try to maintain a sense of routine for the care recipient. Ask them how they want to celebrate over the holidays and get them involved with the planning.
  3. Keep decorations to a minimum to avoid clutter that may be hazardous to a frail or disoriented person.
The Holiday Gathering
  1. If you’re getting together with family and/or friends, make it a potluck, or ask a family member(s) to prepare the meal.  Order in, or go out, for your holiday meal!  Some restaurants or grocery stores sell holiday meals for take-out.
  2. Keep the numbers manageable.  Noise and hectic activity can be exhausting for the person who is ill, and can burn you out too!
  3. Unfortunately, holiday gatherings can cause old resentments to resurface when people spend an extended period together – especially when the stress of caregiving is added to the mix.
  4. Holiday gatherings can be a reminder of loss.  It is natural to feel sad.  Try and remember, everyone is doing the best they can.
  5. Avoid comparisons with past holidays.  Yes, your family situation has changed and this year will not be the same as before, but it can still be enjoyed in its own unique way.

In summary, enjoy your time together, celebrate the uniqueness of the situation, don’t overdo it, and ask for help if you need it from family and friends.


Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care


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