When it comes to celebrating the holidays, the world’s message to us is that the grander, flashier, brighter and more expensive the experience, the better. However, for family caregivers, especially those in the sandwich generation who are currently taking care of both older parents and their own kids and husband or wife, striving to meet these expectations can be stressful.
But take heart; there is an alternative approach to enjoy the holiday with seniors that is likely to be more warmly received and treasured: simplifying. Scaling back on all of the holiday preparations and activities can be extremely rewarding, allowing for more emphasis and attention on strengthening family bonds – something our high tech world so desperately needs.
Instead of filling your calendar (and your stress level) to overflowing, take a deep breath, and give thought to the following instead:
- Be present. There’s honestly no better present you can give than that of your presence. Make this the best holiday with seniors by devoting uninterrupted, high quality time to share a cup of coffee and some conversation. Ask your loved one to share memories from holidays past. If you’d like, you can use this time to work on a simple holiday craft together, such as stringing popcorn and cranberries; but don’t let anything overshadow the goal of simply being together.
- Be thankful. Gratitude has a way of pushing our worries aside. Keeping a gratitude journal is a terrific way to bring to the forefront what means the most to you, and to reflect back on it when fatigue begins to creep in. Include even the small blessings: a delicious holiday treat you indulged in, the gentle beauty of a snowfall, the warmth of a blanket just pulled from the dryer.
- Be proactive. Before permitting pressure to build to an overwhelming level in your life, make sure a plan is in place to call in reinforcements. Especially during the busy holiday season, one person cannot handle everything single-handedly. Having help and support with meals, housework, errand-running, etc. for your senior loved one can relieve a great deal of stress. Often friends and relatives would like to help, but are unsure what’s needed.
Grace Home Care, providers of Alzheimer’s care Topeka families trust, is always available to you to help with a wide range of senior care needs, freeing up family caregivers during the holidays and all year long to attain a healthier life balance.
Contact us any time at 708-286-2273 for a free in-home meeting 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!