When you’re a caregiver, the holidays may be something you enjoy but dread at the same time. Shopping for gifts, decorating, and social events can be fun, but stressful, especially when you feel pressed for time or you’re wondering how to include aging loved ones in holiday events or outings. Here are some ways to reduce caregiver and senior stress and make the holidays as peaceful as possible:

  • Let go of perfection and scale down expectations. You don’t have to have the best decorated house on the street, host the perfect party, or maintain traditions that are too difficult to continue. For example, instead of a walking holiday lights trail that may be too much for a senior who isn’t as active or able to walk for long periods of time, try a car ride through festive neighborhoods or a drive-through light display.
  • Keep the senior’s safety in mind. Nothing will ruin a holiday quicker than your loved one falling and getting hurt. If you’re hosting a get-together, keep walkways free of snow and ice, and be mindful of tripping hazards in the home such as electrical cords, children’s toys, pets, and throw rugs.
  • Be mindful of the senior’s dietary restrictions and medications. Review your holiday menu in advance and make adjustments if the senior can’t have certain foods. Remind your loved one about their medications if they’ll be away from home for an extended period.
  • Take breaks and ask for help when you need it. Self-care during the holidays is critical for caregivers. Make arrangements for respite care in advance — before you feel burned out. It’s easy to put your own needs last, but taking good care of yourself is essential for emotional and physical health.

Finally, remember the ‘reason for the season.’ Slow down, simplify, and resist doing too much or over-committing yourself.

If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 803-215-1019 or email us at info@longtermliaisons.com. We’ll be happy to assist!