Being a caregiver around the holidays can raise stress level even higher than normal. If you’re taking care of a loved one who needs assistance with everyday activities, then you know this firsthand. When you’re stressed, the person you’re caring for can probably tell, so finding time to de-stress this holiday should definitely be a priority. Here are a few tips from American Senior Communities for our nation’s caregivers to eliminate some stress this holiday season.
Keep Holiday Activities Simple
Traveling, gift-giving and dealing with difficult family members can all be tremendously stressful both for caregivers and the people they care for. If you’re going to be caring for a loved one this holiday season, it’s okay to say no to certain holiday events; your family will understand.
For example, travel is particularly stressful around the holidays, so if you have far-flung relatives, it may be best to visit them at another time of the year. Using this strategy can also help you and the person in your care avoid confrontations with family members who trigger them. When it comes to gift-giving, don’t feel obligated to buy something for everyone, especially if providing care has taxed your financial resources. You might try suggesting a “white elephant” gift exchange, or a secret Santa arrangement to maintain the spirit of giving without putting a strain on your finances.
Find Time for Self-Care
As a caregiver, you may feel as if your only priority is taking care of the person in your charge. While providing proper care means devoting your time and attention to others, don’t forget to think about yourself. If you don’t take care of your own needs, then you can’t properly provide for the needs of another person, so make some time for self-care. It can be as simple as leaving your loved one in someone else’s care for a few hours so you can go out to eat with a friend. Even taking fifteen minutes to go for a walk alone can do wonders to clear your head of stress, so find ways to care for yourself that work within your existing caregiving routine.
Consider Respite Care
Many assisted living and senior care communities offer respite, and that includes American Senior Communities. During the holidays, respite stays may be the perfect option for those who need respite care services for elderly friends or family on a short term basis. This allows home caregivers the ability to travel, start a new job, recuperate from an illness or have the time to manage the hectic schedule of the holidays. It’s great for the caregiver but it is a fun opportunity for the loved one who needs care to meet new friends and participate in social activities and holiday parties with people their own age. To all the caretakers out there, American Senior Communities would like to wish you happy holiday and a joyous new year. For more information about Respite, call (888) 996-8272 or email the Care Coordination Center at CCC@asccare.com.