Family caregivers reduce your stress at holiday time

For Family Caregivers – Tips For Reducing Holiday Stress

We all know that Holidays can be a very stressful time just living an ordinary family life. There is much confusion with the hustle and bustle of preparing for extra company, fixing special meals and playing the host while trying to also enjoy the whole experience ourselves. For the family caregiver, this time can add a whole new set of stresses to an already stressful situation.

Maintain familiarity. One of the most important points to remember as a family caregiver in this situation is to try to maintain a sense of familiarity for the one you are caring for. Confusion and unfamiliar changes often alter our mood. Imagine then, what it can do to someone with memory problems, physical impairment, or other handicaps.

Try to include your loved one in holiday preparations. Focus on their strengths, and let them use their own capabilities to help with small tasks. With so much to be cleaned, wrapped, decorated and cooked during the holidays, there are numerous tasks that seniors will find simple and rewarding.

Minimize clutter. Decorating is a fun and traditional part of the holidays. This year, try to reduce the confusion and hazards that often accompany holiday decorations. Whatever the holiday you are celebrating, gift giving is an inevitable part of the festivities. You might want to consider placing only a few gifts out directly to avoid creating a hazard to the one you are caring for. Extra cords and flashing lights around the house may also prove to be an obstacle.

Be mindful and safe. With all of the extra decorating comes the use of additional electrical cords; be sure to secure all extra cords so that they are not a hazard. Try to run them along the outside walls where they are not so visible to the eye. Another good idea is to try to maintain the same furniture floor pattern. For someone who may have poor eyesight, moving the furniture around may lead to more confusion and agitation.

Try to schedule the major activities early in the day. We know that as the day wears on we all tend to become tired under normal conditions. For seniors who tire easily and find new situations confusing, the stress and agitation increases as the day goes on. Try to do major activities during the day, remembering to leave time in-between activities to avoid the stress of rushing, to keep everyone happy and stress-free.

Always try to make your senior loved one feel secure and protected. As much as possible keep your loved one on their regular routine. Just a slight change in routine can cause increased confusion and stress. Your holiday plans will flow a lot smoother if every one is aware of your loved ones needs and limitations. With guests in and out of the house, be sure that someone is aware at all times of where they are.

Finally, be sure to fit some time in for yourself this holiday season. Take a few minutes sometime during the day to pamper yourself. Do not be afraid to let family know that a little quiet time for you could be a gift beyond measure. Something this simple will refresh you and help you to enjoy the holidays more. For more information, go to

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