Seniors and their families can feel stressed about the holiday season. Getting together for the holidays should be a joyous occasion! However, family gatherings can be very stressful for everyone to navigate. Learn how these tips might save you from the unwanted headaches when visiting your loved one this holiday season.
Plan Your Stay
Whether you’re visiting your loved one at their home, or having them come to your home—make a plan that takes into consideration their physical needs and energy levels.
Set a schedule that limits the amount or length of activities to keep your loved one from getting tired.
Large gatherings that your loved one once looked forward to may now be less enjoyable if they are very noisy and there isn’t a comfortable place for them to sit. You can designate an area of the house as a quiet room where your loved one can take a nap and recuperate. If your loved one is mobile, you can keep them engaged by having them help with food preparation or playing with the kids.
Another thing to keep in mind are your children’s sleep schedules. While the holidays mean they can stay up later to play video games or watch TV, be mindful of the fact that it might disturb your loved one who goes to sleep much earlier than they do!
Check for Fall Risks
Sudden changes in the environment can cause anxiety and confusion for seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
While you may be tempted to clean up your loved one’s home when visiting, it is recommended that you don’t rearrange any of the furniture in their home.
Instead, you can remove things like throw rugs that can be a fall risk for your loved one. You can also add non-slip mats to the bathroom and kitchen while you are over to prevent disastrous falls. Another option is getting your loved one to wear non-slip socks.
Places like the Assisted Living Store carry these on their website for purchase.
Talk About Your Favorite Memories
Getting together with the family for the holidays is a good time to bring up fond memories of old times with your loved one.
This can help your loved one reflect on the past and relish in the nostalgia.
If your loved one suffers from cognitive memory impairment, talking about the past can be a positive experience for them. While talking about good memories is beneficial for your loved one, be wary of bringing up any issues that may be cause for argument or upset your loved one.
Not only are the holidays great for talking about old memories, they’re great for making new ones. Take a picture of this joyous event and add it to your photo album for future holidays!
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Relax. It’s the holidays. You don’t have to worry so much about everything! It’s important to know when you need a break from being a family caregiver as well. Don’t be scared to reach out to friends and family for extra assistance during the holiday season. You deserve to have fun too! Being too hard on yourself can add mounting pressure and stress. Caregiver burnout is real and it can have negative physical impacts on your life if not taken seriously.
What Holiday Tips Do You Have?
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