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Make Holidays Merry With These 4 Caregiver Tips

The holidays are meant to be full of weekends with friends and family, practicing traditions that only come around once each year. As a caregiver for an aging adult, a child with a developmental disability, or a family member with an intellectual disability, the hustle and bustle of the holidays can make life even more difficult. Direct Care Innovations understands that you want to experience all the holiday memories with your family, but you may only have enough energy for a few choice activities and events. You can still participate in holiday festivities while minimizing stress for yourself and your loved one by following the four helpful tips below. 

Make Holidays Merry With These Caregiver Tips

1. Prepare for Triggers

This time of year is typically full of memories from past holidays, meaningful relatives, and multiple tasks that can trigger stress, grief, or overwhelm. If you know any triggers that may pop up during Christmas, do your best to prepare for them beforehand. Are particular relatives coming over for Hanukkah celebrations who tend to be more harmful than helpful? Plan a simple, easy meal that won’t require much extra work. Do certain days during the holiday season bring back sad memories or feelings of loneliness? Plan a special activity for those days, such as decorating sugar cookies or attending a holiday concert. Being ready for holiday hot buttons can reduce stress and maximize holiday time spent together.

2. Plan a Few Holiday Activities

Rather than packing in a full schedule during December, choose a few meaningful activities to celebrate the holidays. For those who enjoy decorating, choose one day to put up the Christmas tree or decorate for Hanukkah. If you want to participate in events outside your home, ask a friend or family member to remain with your loved one while you enjoy Christmas dinner with friends or attend a holiday concert in your community. Prioritize the traditions or events you enjoy during the holiday, and you won’t feel like you’ve missed out on anything. 

3. Rethink Holiday Meals

One thing almost everyone looks forward to during the holidays is the delicious, homemade food. During the holidays, we share iced sugar cookies with friends, cook turkey or ham for family dinners, or make latkes or homemade cheesecakes to celebrate Hanukkah. There are several creative and festive ways to still participate in holiday meals without spending hours in the kitchen. Celebrate Christmas potluck-style by asking family members to bring various dishes or desserts. Order groceries online or have them delivered. This will save you at least a few hours. Prepare Hanukkah dishes early in December to keep the holiday simple and easy for yourself.

4. Focus on the Reason for the Season

Most importantly, remember why you’re celebrating this special time of year. Prioritize family members and friends rather than ensuring each holiday activity, event, or dinner is “just right.” As a caregiver, you know some days don’t always work out as planned. Don’t let mishaps or interruptions derail you from enjoying the holiday festivities and making memories that will last a lifetime.

Enjoy a Stress-Free and Happy Holiday

We wish for you to have a holiday full of love and joy this year and that practicing the tips above will make it less stressful for both you and your loved one. DCI places the health and well-being of your loved ones first with our healthcare management platform. With our business management software, we make the lives of caregivers and those they serve easier with features such as training and compliance tracking, client ratings, and electronic visit verification. Learn more or request a sales demo when you call (480) 295-3307.

Source: “10 Tips for Caregivers During the Holidays.” Web article. AARP. American Association of Retired Persons. Web. 04. Nov. 1975

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