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Tips for Caregivers This Holiday Season

A message from Joy's House

The holidays are a busy and hectic time of year.  They are also a time when caregivers tend to see a rise in their stress level, with the kids being home from school, family in and out of town and all of the shopping that needs to be done on top of having to provide care and attention to an aging of disabled loved one. 

Think of some ways that your loved one can be involved in the excitement of the season and maybe even take a few things off of your to do list.  This may involve you releasing control and allowing things go with the flow. 


Was your mom the one that remembered everyone’s birthday and had a card in the mail that arrived just in time every time?  Supply her with a pack of greeting cards and have her write letters to the family.  It doesn’t matter if they aren’t legible or that the person passed away 10 years ago, this will allow her to live in her world and reminisce.


Did you father always have a special seat next to the fire place where he would read?  As company begins to arrive throughout the holidays, invite the younger children to sit and read to or play a board game with your father.  Encourage storytelling of holidays gone by.


Invite you loved one to help decorate the Christmas tree, even if their main job is to hand you the ornaments.  Ask them to help set the table for dinner, or wrap gifts.  I also encourage you to pull out the video recorder and get every moment on tape.  This maybe a good way to get the teenagers involved. 


What is equally as important as involving your loved one is allowing ample time for them to rest.  If at all possible, ask family to visit on different days and/or times throughout the season, as not to overwhelm your loved one.  Give your loved one time to close his or her eyes and take a short nap. 


Tips such as these and other helpful information can be heard on Caregiver Crossing this and every Saturday morning from 7-8am on 93.1 FM WIBC.  I hope that you tune in.

Caregiver Crossing is a service of Joy’s House and was created to be a weekly on air support group for family caregivers and those of us who one day will be.  

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