How Caregivers & Family Members Can Cope with Stress During the Holidays

The holidays are a joyous time for families as they gather together to celebrate. Instead of being joyful, some family members caring for their elderly loved ones may feel frustrated, angry, or overwhelmed. The everyday stresses related to meal planning and gift buying can often become exacerbated by caregiver duties. Frustration with handling all the day-to-day responsibilities can potentially overshadow the meaningfulness of the upcoming celebrations. Caregivers need help, which can often come from family or friends or in the form of respite care at an independent living, personal care, or skilled nursing facility.

4 Ways to Reduce Your Caregiver Stress During the Holiday Season

Coping with holiday stress as a caregiver is possible. Here are four ways you can reduce your stress and get back to the joy of the season:

  1. Take a Moment to Assess What Your Stressors Are: Instead of lumping your stress under one umbrella, think about those items that push your buttons. Are you concerned that you cannot meet the needs of your senior and the rest of your family equally? Are you anticipating seeing a sibling that refuses to help, and you know you will get angry with them? It is much easier to find solutions to your stressors when you can single them out.
  2. Reset Holiday Expectations: Most families have traditions that they keep from year to year throughout generations. You may think you must have everyone over to your home for a formal meal, or you must put up the 9-foot Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving. But reassess what is essential. For example, you may love having family over but can forgo the huge meal for a pitch-in-style dinner. A potluck menu might be just what you need this year. Additionally, you do not have to accept every invitation you receive.Choose one or two to say yes to and politely decline the others. Do allow yourself some socializing so you can get a break from daily duties as a caregiver for your senior. 
  3. Bring Self-Care to the Forefront of Your Life: Caregivers often tend to place their health and wellness in the background while seeing to others’ needs. The holidays bring on more stress. That is why you need to put your health and self-care at the top of the list. You might seek out volunteers so that you can spend a few hours shopping. Maybe a quiet afternoon for a much-needed nap brings you some relief. It is important to remember that you cannot care for your loved one if you don’t care for yourself.
  4. Assess Whether Your Loved One Needs Home Care/Personal Care/Assisted Living Services to Complement Your Duties: There may come a time when the demands of caregiving increase. When this happens, a home care provider or a personal care/assisted living community, or a skilled nursing facility may be the answer. These health professionals can step in to offer the support you are unable to give. They also free up your schedule so that you can spend quality time with your loved one without having to play the caregiver role. 

Put the Joy Back in the Holiday with Help from Wesley Enhanced Living

Ensure that you and your loved ones get to enjoy this holiday season when you take steps to mitigate your caregiver stress. Consider utilizing the team at Wesley Enhanced Living. We can provide services to seniors with our different living options. Choose from independent living, personal care, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing – whichever one fits you and your elderly family member’s lifestyle. The holidays are a great time to check out communities and get a feel for the help you will receive. Contact us today!

Wesley Enhanced Living provides high-quality senior retirement communities for you or your loved ones.  Contact one of our Philadelphia area locations and find out why our seniors love where they live. Our staff is happy to discuss your elder’s or your own needs and inform you of our range of services. Virtual tours are now available. Call us today for more information.

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