In celebrating the holidays, society’s message to us is that the bigger, flashier, and more costly the experience, the better. But for family caregivers, specifically those in the sandwich generation who are busy providing care for both aging parents and their own children and spouse, attempting to meet these expectations can be daunting.
But take heart; there is an alternative means to fully enjoy the holiday with seniors that’s likely to be more warmly received and appreciated: simplifying. Scaling back on all of the holiday preparations and activities can be tremendously rewarding, providing for more emphasis and concentration on building up family bonds – something our high tech world so desperately needs.
As an alternative to filling up your calendar (and your stress level) to overflowing, take a deep breath, and consider 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 dedicating uninterrupted, high quality time to enjoy a 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 create a simple holiday craft together, like stringing cranberries and popcorn; but don’t let a task overshadow the goal of simply being together.
- Be grateful. Thankfulness has a way of pushing our problems aside. Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to confirm what means the most to you, and to reflect back on it when stress begins to creep in. Include even the smallest blessings: a favorite holiday treat you enjoyed, the gentle natural beauty of a snowfall, the feel of a warm blanket fresh from the dryer.
- Be proactive. Before permitting stress to build to an overwhelming level in your life, have a plan in place to call in support. Especially during the busy holiday season, one individual can never handle everything alone. Having help with meals, housework, running errands, etc. for your elderly loved one can relieve a great deal of stress. Often friends and relatives would like to help, but are unsure what’s needed.
Hearts at Home, providers of the highest quality senior care Kansas City has to offer, is always available to you to help with a wide range of senior care needs, freeing up family caregivers during the holiday season and throughout the year to attain a healthier life balance.
Contact us any time at 913-440-4209 for a free in-home assessment to see 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!