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Altenheim

Holiday Stress

Posted: December 7, 2018, 8:52AM

We just finished a program on Supporting & Empowering the Caregiver, and as might be expected, a big piece of the program focused on self-care.  Providing care to a loved one tests the limits of our endurance.  We become physically tired, emotionally drained, and can challenge our spiritual strength. 

The holidays add to the stress of caring for a loved one, especially when we try to do everything like we've always done it.  We shop, we wrap, we send Christmas cards, we plan for the brunches and dinners, we cook, we try to keep up with the holiday gatherings.  All of this while maintaining the care of our loved one. 

The holidays are another of those times we just have to KNOW and NO our limits!

Think about the following as you prepare for the holidays:

* Start your own traditions.  Instead of preparing ALL of the meal, assign different dishes to family members and guests.  You don't have to prepare everything!  Perhaps someone else could host this year and you could take the covered dish.

* On-line shopping is a huge time saver as is catalogue shopping.  If you're shopping on-line, make sure you're using a secure website.  (These are the addresses that are "https".)  Gift cards are great ideas too, and most stores carry a large selection of gift cards.  Some stores (like Sam's) offer a deal if you buy two.

*Use the "moderation" theory.  Too many sweets, too much alcohol, too much rich food can make you sick or uncomfortable.

* Be prepare for the unexpected.  It's the holidays!  Something may come up.  Follow the Serenity Prayer:  accept the things you cannot change.  Remember to laugh!

*Try to get a break for yourself.  Take a 5 minute walk.  Meditate.  Do yoga. Do something for you that contributes to your physical and emotional well-being.

* If you are caring for a loved one with dementia, keep in mind that the hustle and bustle can overly stimulate your care receiver.  This may result in some challenging behaviors.  Try to keep your routine as normal as is possible.  Try to limit the size of the crowd.  You know your loved one, and you know what may cause problems.  Be attentive to signs that your loved one may be reaching their tolerance limit.  You may want to consider having someone stay with your loved one while you participate in some of the holiday activities.  You do not need to exclude your loved one but you will be providing better care if you are aware of THEIR limits. 

Happy Holidays!

 

 






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