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Coping with Holidays as a Home Caregiver
Posted: 12/8/2016 9:16 AM by
We all know that the Holidays can be a very stressful time just in living an ordinary family life. There is much confusion with the hustle and bustle of preparing for extra company, fixing special meals and playing host while also trying to enjoy the experience ourselves. For the caregiver, this time can add a completely new set of stresses to an already stressful situation.
One of the most important points we should remember as the caregiver in this situation is to try to maintain a sense off familiarity with the one we are caring for. Confusion and unfamiliar change often brings out the worst in us. Imagine then, what it can do to someone with memory problems, dementia or physical impairments. With this in mind, there are some tips, which may help make the holidays a little more enjoyable for all involved.
Try to include your loved one in some holiday preparations. Focus on their remaining strengths, and let them use their own capabilities to help with small tasks. It makes them feel that they are being useful and occupies them so you are able to get on with other preparations. With the holidays comes decorating. Try to minimize the amount of clutter that this may add.
Whatever the holiday you are celebrating, gift giving is an inevitable part of most of the festivities. You might want to consider placing only a few gifts out directly. There is no need to spread them out so that they fill half the living room. This can create a safety hazard to the one you are caring for by tripping them up or confusing them. With all of the extra decorating comes the use of additional electrical cords. Be sure to secure all extra cords so that they are not a hazard. Try to run them along the outside walls where they are not so visible to the eye. Another good idea is to try to maintain the same furniture floor pattern. For someone who may be a little confused at times, moving the furniture around may totally throw them off and lead to more confusion and agitation.
Try to schedule the major activities for the day early in the day. We know that as the day wears on we all tend to become tired under normal conditions. For someone who is struggling to find their place in an already confusing world, the stress and agitation increases as the day goes on. Saving a time of sitting and quietly visiting towards the end of the day would benefit all concerned. Talking of past holiday customs and recipes may be enjoyable for your loved one, if they have long-term memory recall. Just seeing family faces and hearing quiet conversation may be quite enjoyable for your loved one, and for you, too.