Senior care can be stressful at the best of times. While the holidays are certainly a joyful time, the hustle and bustle may be disconcerting to caregiver and senior alike. The need to finish tasks, such as cooking, baking and shopping, can create an incredible level of stress in the senior’s home.
Family caregivers and professional caregivers (C.N.A.s and C.H.H.A.s) alike can succumb to holiday caregiver stress. Here are some tips to help yourself so you can better care for your senior client or loved one during this magical albeit overwhelming time of year.
Keep it Simple
Trying to do too much (or even as much as last year) can put undue stress on both caregiver and senior. Maybe paring back is not such a bad thing. Learn to let go of self-imposed holiday quota. Be prepared to scale back — from the amount of cookies to bake to the number greeting cards to send.
Family caregivers tend to want to do it all themselves. If a sibling or other family member can’t provide respite care themselves, turn to a trusted Home Care Agency to provide a few hours of relief for you, the family caregiver. Family caregiver burnout is a real problem, no matter what time of year. Suggest to family and friends who ask that help could be the most valuable gift.
Look To Technology
Find apps that help you take a break and guide meditation. We found one that features a basic concept — a voiceover with a guided stress relief mental exercise. The app allows the user to choose from two basic guided meditation categories — a work break or for stress relief. There’s certainly a lot more available out there.
Your body is a machine. If it begins to break down, you won’t have the ability to care for your senior or yourself. Keeping up with the needs of the holidays requires stamina. Exercise, rest, and proper nutrition are the keys to keeping you working at peak performance.
Take a Moment
Every week, we at Caregiverlist post a calming photo dedicated to caregiver stress relief. The idea is a simple but important one — stop for just a moment and focus on a “happy place.” Sometimes that’s just enough to help you reset and recharge for better caregiving.
Take care of yourself as well as your senior this season. Holiday depression is a common byproduct of caregiver stress. Take steps to maximize the opportunity to have a happy and healthy holiday.