When it comes to celebrating the holidays, society’s message to us is that the grander, flashier, brighter and more expensive the experience, the better. Yet for family caregivers, particularly those in the sandwich generation who are taking care of both older parents and their own children and spouse, attempting to meet these expectations can be overwhelming.
But take heart; there is another method to fully enjoy the holiday with seniors which is likely to be more warmly received and treasured: simplifying. Cutting back on all of the holiday preparations and events can be incredibly rewarding, allowing for more emphasis and concentration on building up family bonds – something our high tech lifestyle so desperately needs.
Rather than filling your schedule (and your stress level) to overflowing, take a deep breath, and give thought to the following instead:
- Be present. There is literally no better gift you can give than that of your presence. Make this the best holiday with seniors by devoting uninterrupted, quality time to sharing a hot cup of coffee and some conversation. Ask the older adult to share memories from holidays past. If you’d like, you can use this time to work on a simple holiday craft together, such as stringing cranberries and popcorn; but don’t let anything overshadow the objective of simply being together.
- Be thankful. Gratitude has a way of setting our worries aside. Keeping a gratitude diary is a fantastic way to confirm what means the most to you, and to refer back when fatigue begins to seep in. Include even the small blessings: a special holiday treat you indulged in, the soft splendor of a snowfall, the warmth of a blanket fresh from the dryer.
- Be proactive. Before allowing pressure to build to a distressing level in your life, have a plan ready to call in support. Particularly during the hectic holiday season, one person can never handle everything all alone. Having help with meals, housekeeping, errand-running, etc. for your elderly loved one can ease a great deal of stress. Often friends and relatives would love to help, but are unclear about what’s needed.
Compassionate Nursing Services, the top caregiver St. Louis seniors need, is always readily available to help with a wide variety of elder care needs, freeing up family caregivers during the holiday season and all year round to attain a healthier life balance.
Contact us any time at 314-432-4312 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!