Family caregivers may feel like they have a full schedule during the rest of the year, but this can be especially true during the holiday season. Meeting the demands of both caregiving and personal and family obligations can prove to be a balancing act. If you are a family caregiver, prepare for some of these potential difficulties ahead of time this holiday season.
1. An Unbalanced Personal Schedule
Your loved one may have holiday activities to attend that conflict with activities your family or friends want you to participate in, and choosing between these activities can make you feel guilty no matter what the decision. Your immediate family may want more of your attention and resent the time you devote to caring for an elderly loved one if it means you aren’t there for the traditional holiday activities. You can also become stressed from feeling like you can’t accommodate everyone’s needs and schedules. Make sure you plan a schedule that allows time for your own holiday traditions as well as your loved one’s and stick to it. If need be, use your schedule as the reason why things need to be done in a certain way so you won’t become tempted to try to accommodate if asked.
2. Less Time to Provide Effective Care
Attempting to balance time between your own immediate family and friends and your caregiving duties can also be a problem when you want to ensure your loved one receives the best elderly care in Naples. Less time for caregiving may mean you need to skip some of your usual caregiving routines, which may leave you feeling the quality of care is being sacrificed. For instance, you may need to insist your loved one change his or her routine slightly or adjust plans based on what you’re able to accommodate. Remember to do your best and not feel guilty. Your goal is to ensure your loved one is receiving dedicated, loving care even if it’s a little different from other times of year.
3. The Possibility of Becoming Burnt Out
Burnout is a problem for caregivers at any time of the year, but some of the highest burnout rates can be experienced during holidays. The guilt over a loved one’s loneliness or missing family holiday activities can affect caregivers at this time of year, adding to the stress. You may also feel you aren’t able to give care and attention to your loved one or possibly even your family and friends and the things you enjoy doing. If you are providing care, take extra precautions to prevent getting burnt out in the holiday season. Make sure you take regular breaks to do things you want to do, even if it means saying no to family, friends, or even your loved one sometimes. Schedule times to do these things and stick to the schedule. Meeting with a support group, therapist, or even an understanding friend to talk about holiday frustrations is also a good idea. This may also be the time to look into respite care in Naples, even if it’s only for a day or so to give yourself a chance to unwind. If formal respite care isn’t an option, consider looking for family or friends willing to volunteer to take an afternoon or evening to help care for your loved one so you can have a break.
4. An Increase in Potential Hazards
Holidays can be a dangerous time of year for seniors, and there are often added complications for Naples caregivers as well. For instance, holiday decorations in your loved one’s home may require your attention for safety reasons. You’ll want to ensure decorations are safely and securely placed, cords aren’t a tripping hazard, and ornaments and lights are in good repair. The upkeep of holiday décor means you should check for these things throughout the holiday season rather than just once at the beginning. Your loved one also may want to go out, making him or her vulnerable to cold, inclement weather, and being around large groups of people can expose your loved one to illnesses that may become serious due to a less robust immune system. Help keep your loved one safe by making a list of things to check on at each visit so you aren’t racking your brain trying to remember. Talk to your loved one about being a partner in keeping safe and taking precautions such as extra hand washing as a favor to you.
Help make your work as a family caregiver easier and keep your loved one safe and comfortable by hiring a professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance. During the holidays as well as the rest of the year, our caregivers are available 24/7 to assist with a wide variety of daily tasks, including meal prep, transportation, and exercise. For more information and to schedule a free consultation, call a Care Manager at (239) 449-4701 today.