When it comes to celebrating the holidays, society’s message to us is that the bigger, flashier, and more costly the experience, the better. But for family caregivers, specifically those in the sandwich generation who are busy caring for both older parents and their own children and husband or wife, trying to meet these expectations can be overwhelming.
But take heart; there’s another means to enjoying the holiday with seniors that is likely to be more warmly received and gratifying: simplifying. Cutting back on all of the holiday preparations and activities can be truly rewarding, providing for more emphasis and concentration on building up family bonds – something our high tech society so desperately needs.
As an alternative to filling your schedule (and your stress level) to overflowing, take a deep breath, and take into account the following instead:
- Be present. There is genuinely no better gift you can give than that of your presence. Make this the best holiday with seniors by dedicating uninterrupted, high quality time to sharing a cup of tea and some conversation. Ask the older adult to share memories from holidays past. If you’d like, you can use this time to create a simple holiday craft together, like stringing cranberries and popcorn; but don’t let an activity overshadow the goal of simply being together.
- Be thankful. Gratitude has a way of pushing our problems aside. Keeping a gratitude diary is a fabulous way to document what is most important to you, and to refer back to it when fatigue begins to seep in. Include even the smallest blessings: a favorite holiday treat you enjoyed, the soft splendor of a snowfall, the feel of a warm quilt just pulled from the dryer.
- Be proactive. Before permitting tension to build to an unmanageable level in your life, make sure a plan is in place to call in reinforcements. Especially during the busy holiday season, one person can never handle everything all alone. Having help with meals, housekeeping, running errands, etc. for your older loved one can alleviate a great deal of stress. Often family and friends would like to help, but are unclear about what’s needed.
Live Free Home Health Care’s Concord home health team is always readily available to help with a wide range of senior care needs, freeing up family caregivers during the holiday season and all year round to maintain a healthier life balance.
Contact us any time at 603-217-0149 for a free in-home assessment to see how we can make your holiday with seniors more meaningful by serving as your loved one’s professional partner in care. And from our family to yours, we wish you a happy holiday season and all of the best in the new year!