In celebrating the holidays, the world’s message to us is that the bigger, brighter, flashier, and more costly the experience, the better. However, for family caregivers, especially those in the sandwich generation who are taking care of both aging parents and their own household, attempting to meet these expectations can be stressful.
But take heart; there’s an alternate means to enjoying your holiday with seniors which is likely to be more warmly received and treasured: simplifying. Cutting back on all of the holiday plans and activities can be genuinely rewarding, prompting more focus and attention on strengthening family bonds – something our high tech world so desperately needs.
Rather than filling up your schedule (and your stress level) to overflowing, take a deep breath, and give thought to the following instead:
- Be present. There is truly no better present you can give than that of your presence. Make this the best holiday with seniors by committing uninterrupted, high quality time to enjoy a cup of cocoa and some conversation. Ask the senior to share recollections from holidays past. If you’d like, you can use this time to create a simple holiday craft together, like stringing popcorn and cranberries; but don’t let anything overshadow the objective of simply being together.
- Be thankful.Gratitude has a way of setting our concerns aside. Keeping a gratitude journal is a terrific way to highlight what is most important to you, and to have the opportunity to reflect back when fatigue begins to seep in. Include even the smallest blessings: a delicious holiday treat you enjoyed, the gentle splendor of a snowfall, the feel of a warm blanket just pulled from the dryer.
- Be proactive.Before letting tension build to a distressing level in your life, have a plan ready to call in support. Especially during the busy holiday season, one person is simply unable to handle everything all alone. Having help with meals, housecleaning, errand-running, etc. for your elderly loved one can relieve a great deal of stress. Often friends and relatives would like to help, but are unsure what’s needed.
Enhanced Home Care, providers of the best dementia care in Kansas City and surrounding areas, is always available to you to help with a wide variety of senior care needs, freeing up family caregivers during the holiday season and throughout the year to achieve a healthier life balance.
Contact us any time at 913-327-0000 for a free in-home assessment to discover 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!