Already feeling overwhelmed with caregiving tasks, stressed-out caregivers may view traditional holiday preparations as more of a drain of precious energy than a joy. Following are some suggestions that may help:
An opportunity for communication – Although it is understandable to have reservations about discussing a loved one’s impairments, honest communication about the realities of the caregiving situation offers others the opportunity to respond with assistance.
- Holiday greetings and a brief note – Some family caregivers have had success in writing a brief note describing the senior’s condition and enclosing it in a holiday greeting card. This can be a way to inform distant or uninvolved relatives about the realities of the caregiving situation.
- Be clear about your energy level – Let other family members know that your caregiving duties are keeping you very busy and that you only have so much energy for holiday preparation and hosting duties.
- Accept the need to adapt – You may find it easier to allow another family member to host more time-intensive festivities. You may also have to choose which events to attend based on which would be the simplest, least exhausting and most enjoyable for the person for whom you provide care.
- A little Thank-You goes a long way – After the holidays, write a thank you note to family members or friends who spent time with your senior loved one. Emphasize the positive impact their visit or brief time spent with your loved one had on them. They may then be more encouraged to visit again or be more supportive of your caregiving efforts.
All too often, families find themselves dealing with elder/parent care issues and facing new life challenges. The challenges of this new responsibility cannot be simply identified nor are they easy to fulfill. Becoming a parent to a parent is not an easy role to fill and emotions, because they can’t be “seen” or “felt” by anyone else, are the most difficult elements in senior care situations. Because they are so elusive, yet have such a tremendous impact, they must be fully understood and dealt with appropriately in order to achieve win-win situations. To read more articles like this click HERE.