When celebrating the holidays, society’s message to us is that the grander, flashier, brighter and more expensive the experience, the better. But for family caregivers, especially those in the sandwich generation who are busy taking care of both elderly parents and their own children and husband or wife, trying to meet these expectations can be daunting.
But take heart; there is an alternate method to enjoy the holiday with seniors that’s likely to be more warmly received and treasured: simplifying. Cutting back on all of the holiday plans and activities can be surprisingly rewarding, prompting more emphasis and attention on building up family bonds – something our high tech lifestyle 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’s literally 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 coffee and some conversation. Ask the senior to share recollections from holidays past. If you’d like, you can use this time to make 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 problems aside. Keeping a gratitude journal is a wonderful way to confirm what is most important to you, and to reflect back on it when fatigue begins to creep in. Include even the smallest blessings: a special holiday treat you indulged in, the soft, natural beauty of a snowfall, the feel of a warm blanket just pulled from the dryer.
- Be proactive. Before allowing stress to build to an unmanageable level in your life, make sure a plan is in place to bring in a support system. Especially during the busy holiday season, one person can never handle everything all alone. Having help with meals, housecleaning, errand-running, etc. for your senior loved one can relieve a great deal of stress. Often friends and relatives would love to help, but are unclear about what’s needed.
Morning Glory Home Care, top providers of home health services in Belleville, IL and the surrounding area, is always available to help with a wide variety of elder care needs, freeing up family caregivers during the holiday season and throughout the year to develop a healthier life balance.
Contact us any time at 618-667- 8400 for a free in-home meeting 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!