The holidays can be stressful under the best of circumstances.
For those of us caring for an elderly loved one, the possibilities for headaches – and heartache – can multiply quickly. The desire to hold on to beloved holiday traditions pulls at us, but is often at odds with our new reality.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to celebrate the season while still meeting the needs of your loved one.
Bring the party home
If you choose to entertain, invite people to the home of the care receiver. This will create a more comfortable environment for them and reduce the stress of having to travel.
Embrace the popularity of the potluck
Understand that you don’t have to do everything yourself. Ask guests to help with the food and drinks. Invite them to the after-party cleanup!
Smaller is better
Limit the number of people you invite. Large crowds can be confusing and difficult for those who are facing challenges. Talk to friends and family before they arrive so they know what circumstances to be prepared for when meeting with your loved one.
Give from the heart
Don’t waste what precious time you do have on traipsing through malls or online shopping sites. Give the gift of a heartfelt note or the promise to meet for lunch. Less stress for you, greater appreciation from the recipients.
Ask for what you want
This is good advice year-round, but particularly apt during the holidays. When somebody asks what you need, be honest. Ask for assistance or a gift certificate for a grocery store that delivers.
Rely on others
If you need help getting kids picked up or a prescription refilled, ask for help. Most people are eager to assist and feel better about themselves after pitching in. Give them the gift of service.
Make time for yourself
Make sure you’re taking time to do the things you love to do. Whether it’s going to a movie or taking a nap, ensure you’ve still got time to pamper yourself.