When celebrating the holidays, the world’s message to us is that the grander, brighter, flashier, and more expensive the experience, the better. But for family caregivers, particularly those in the sandwich generation who are currently providing care for both senior parents and their own kids and spouse, attempting to meet these expectations can be overwhelming.
But take heart; there’s an alternate method to fully enjoy the holiday with seniors that’s likely to be more warmly received and cherished: simplifying. Scaling back on all of the holiday plans and activities can be highly rewarding, providing for more emphasis and attention on building up family bonds – something our high tech world so desperately needs.
Instead of filling your schedule (and your stress level) to overflowing, take a deep breath, and reflect on the following instead:
- Be present. There’s really no better present you can give than that of your presence. Make this the best holiday with seniors by dedicating uninterrupted, quality time to enjoy a cup of tea and some conversation. Ask the older adult to share recollections 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 objective of simply being together.
- Be thankful. Gratitude has a way of pushing our concerns aside. Keeping a thankfulness journal is a terrific way to document what is most important to you, and to reflect back on it when fatigue begins to creep in. Include even the most basic blessings: a delicious holiday treat you indulged in, the gentle, natural splendor of a snowfall, the feel of a warm blanket just pulled from the dryer.
- Be proactive. Before allowing demands to build to an overwhelming level in your life, have a plan in place to bring in a support system. Particularly during the hectic holiday season, one individual can never handle everything alone. Having help and support with meals, housework, running errands, etc. for your senior loved one can alleviate a great deal of stress. Often friends and relatives would love to help, but are uncertain of what’s needed.
Home With You’s Baltimore in home care experts are always available to you to help with a wide variety of senior care needs, freeing up family caregivers during the holiday season and all year long to maintain a healthier life balance.
Contact us at 410-756-0959 any time for a free in-home appointment 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!