Taking Care of You-Simplify the Holiday Season

What is it about the holidays that can make us exhaust ourselves trying to make everything perfect? As a child, the holiday season was joyful. As I grew older it became more complex with a mixture of anticipation and sadness. The sadness coming from the realization that each new holiday meant changes and ultimately gaps around the holiday table.

The ramped up activitiy around the holidays can make caregiving a challenge; increased activity, increased expectations and increased stress. Before we are deep into the holiday season, take some time to consider which holiday events and rituals still fit your family member's situation and what you might need to take off your schedule.

The holidays may also provide an opportunity for you to get objective feedback about how your family member and your caregiving situation has changed.

Taking care of your family member on a daily basis can make it hard to see how much your caregiving burden is increasing. You may gradually take on more and more responsibility without really noticing. Feedback from a trusted friend or family member who is visiting for the holidays can help you see the bigger picture.

Ask a trusted friend or family member who has not seen the person you are caring for in a while to collect observations on how things have changed.

Set aside a quiet time when you are relaxed to meet with him to hear his feedback.

Listen with an open mind.

Make notes about his observations to consider later.

Review your friend or family member's observations after the holidays and begin to take action on items that you know are accurate.

Here's an article with suggestions of things your friend or family member should look for when giving you feedback about how your caregiving responsibilities may have increased.

Is it Time to Discuss Your Eldercare Challenges with an Expert?

Have your caregiving responsibilities left you stressed, angry or feeling guilty?

Do you suspect that your family member needs help and don't know where to start?

Whether you are an experienced caregiver verging on burnout or a new caregiver who is not sure how to help a family member, you can benefit from Eldercare Coaching.

To experience what's it's like to have an expert in your corner providing advice and resources tailored to your unique situation, click here to schedule a no cost 30 minute consultation.

Dementia Special Tips-Navigating the Holidays

The changes in routine, excitement and busyness of the holidays can be challenging for your family member with dementia. Here are six tips to make the holidays go smoothly.
  1. Select a limited number of activities that you think will have meaning to your family member.
  2. Consider the time of day when selecting activities, keep in mind that your family member will be fresher and better able to cope earlier in the day.
  3. If you are attending an event away from home, arrange for a quiet place that your family member can retreat to if she becomes overwhelmed.
  4. Be prepared to leave early if you have to and let your host know this might happen.
  5. Build time into your schedule for rest and quiet time for both you and your family member.
  6. Make time to attend some holiday events that are important to you without your family member. Ask friends, family to stay with your loved one.
  7. Upcoming Eldercare Coach Events

    November 12, 7pm
    Janice is hosting the Caring for Aging Parents Telephone Support Group
    Call in number: (616) 347-8400
    Pin number: 196932#

    To register for any of these events, please reply to this email.