Caregiver Tips: Making the Best of the Holidays

Nov 17, 2011

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow. ~Edward Sandford Martinfamily at thanksgiving

Forever on Thanksgiving Day the heart will find the pathway home. ~Wilbur D. Nesbit

Holiday season is upon us, with all that it brings with it, from celebrating with family and friends to stress and even loneliness and depression for some. It can be an especially hard time for those who have lost loved ones or are facing losses of their own, in health or independence. Here are some tips for families during the holiday season:

  • Acknowledge losses and talk about memories of loved ones. It may be a good time to consider a project or present to memorialize someone who has been lost recently, such as going through and organizing old photos or putting up a memorial ornament.
  • Consider ways to include older relatives in festivities or modify them to work for someone who may have more difficulty getting around. For example, hire a home health aide to transport and assist your loved one to a family event or favorite holiday performance or bring a small celebration to his/her Assisted Living Facility (perhaps enjoy the facility’s holiday meal together but bring a special family side dish or pie).
  • Give the gift of time and togetherness. Plan an outing (as per above, bring help along if it is hard for you to manage), create a video card from the grandkids, have your loved one help you learn an old family recipe.
  • Simplify routines and modify traditions to reduce stress and better accommodate today’s reality. However, be sensitive to what is important to loved ones about traditions-figure out how to continue traditions but perhaps in slightly new ways.
  • Be conscious of potential difficulties with an event or holiday plans for someone with physical or other limitations. Will your friend with memory problems be overwhelmed and anxious at the large holiday party? Might your Mom need help to the bathroom during the holiday play and need someone with her who can assist?
  • Be aware of signs of depression. Is someone you care about withdrawing, showing no interest in favorite activities, not sleeping well, changing eating or drinking patterns, having trouble remembering? Check in with those who have suffered losses or are showing any of the above signs. Have someone stopping by if you are at a distance from a loved one.

EasyLiving, Inc. is here to help this holiday season. We can help make life EASY with a variety of services during this busy time. For example, we can:

  • Help with shopping and running errands; picking up gifts or shopping together and mailing packages.
  • Assist with gift wrapping, preparing packages and holiday cards.
  • Cook special family recipes as part of our meal preparation services. If we are already assisting a client, we are glad to incorporate favorite recipes or spend time together making that special item or we can be hired especially for this task. We can assist with baking family recipes to make as treats for family, friends, neighbors.
  • Assisting clients to special outings and events. We can provide transportation and physical assistance, for example, to a family event or holiday performance. Our concierge caregivers are adept at being a non-obtrusive presence while ensuring a comfortable, safe experience. (Our staff can help you identify what events are going on around town and assist with tickets and planning as well.)
  • Some extra help around the house, to organize and clean before a special event or just as a nice gift to someone.
  • Additional support and companionship during the holiday season.
  • Home health aide and geriatric care management support for crises that may occur while family members are away or trying to manage multiple things.

Contact us at 727-448-0900 for any of your needs during the holidays and beyond!

We will cover more about reducing holiday stress, ways to ensure a safe and happy holiday for your elderly loved ones and gift ideas for seniors in upcoming posts so stay tuned or sign up for our EasyLiving blog feed or Caregiver Tips.

Topics: Caregivers, Senior Health, Assisted Living, News & Local Resources

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