Even on a normal day, being a caregiver to an older adult can be stressful. But, the approaching holidays can bring even more stress. On top of your usual caregiver duties, you’ll have gifts to buy, decorating to accomplish, and family gatherings. Not only do you have to do those things for yourself, you may also have to help your older family with them, too. All of that can increase the stress you’re feeling. Fortunately, there are ways caregivers can make holidays less stressful. Here are 5 ways to beat holiday stress.
#1: Be Honest About Your Time and Energy
You may feel pressured to host holiday gatherings or attend lots of different events. If that’s the case, be honest with yourself and others about how much you can handle given your caregiver duties. If you’re not up to hosting, don’t. Or, ask someone to co-host. Divide up tasks so that you take on only what you can handle.
#2: Don’t Address Disappointments
Many caregivers are disappointed with other members of the family for their lack of support. If that’s true for you, consider letting those issues lie during the holidays. Instead, focus on enjoying the holidays and plan to address issues another time.
#3: Keep Activities Simple
There’s no need for caregivers to go over the top with holiday activities. Simple ones can be just as meaningful. For example, instead of spending hours baking and decorating cookies, try an alternative. Lots of churches hold cookie walks near the holidays where you can purchase your holiday cookies and know the money is going to a good cause. Or, you could use pre-made dough or unfrosted cookies, so you can still have the fun of decorating them.
#4: Begin a New Tradition
One of the things that may cause caregivers to stress during the holidays is knowing that they have to give up some old traditions because of changes in the older adult’s abilities. Instead of focusing on those losses, start some new traditions. If you used to walk the neighborhood and look at the lights, but your older relative can’t do that anymore, consider taking a drive instead.
#5: Schedule Home Care Early
The holidays are likely to change your regular schedule. Talk to the home care agency as soon as possible about your holiday plans. That way, the agency is more likely to have a staff member available at the times you need.
If you are considering caregivers in Park Ridge, IL, for an aging loved one, please call the caring staff at A-Abiding Care today. Serving North and Northwest Chicago and the surrounding area for over 30 years. Call 847-698-1400.