The holiday season is a time most of us look forward to all year long. For caregivers, however, the extra demands on their time can make the season feel overwhelming. To help central Ohio caregivers enjoy the holidays this year, we have pulled together a few tips.
Holiday Survival Tips for Central Ohio Caregivers
1. Set priorities early. From work parties to activities at your church or synagogue, the holiday season usually makes your calendar a busy one. For caregivers, the desire to join in may be overshadowed by the responsibilities of caring for your loved one. To make it easier to juggle, decide now what your priorities for this season will be. Is it to spend more time with your own children? Or maybe to participate in more of the holiday events at your church? Picking one or two priorities will help you decide which invitations to accept and which to consider for next year.
2. Be realistic. Give yourself permission to do a little less this year. If you always bring an elaborate dessert to a family holiday gathering, for example, but just the thought of spending all of the time it takes to create it adds to your anxiety, settle for a simple dessert or one you can order from the bakery this year. It doesn’t mean you won’t be able to go back to your homemade creations in the future, it just means you are taking a break from it this year.
3. Investigate local respite services. Respite care comes in many forms. It might be a volunteer visitor from your church, an in-home caregiver from a local senior care agency or a few nights stay at a central Ohio assisted living community. It is a service designed to give caregivers a break. You can use it for just a few hours while you are shopping or for a few nights if you want to travel during the holidays.
4. Accept help. Caregivers often feel caring for their loved one is their obligation. It makes them reluctant to ask for or accept help. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that failing to take time out to care for yourself can lead to a health crisis of your own. If someone offers to help in small ways like running errands or assisting with transportation, accept their offer. If no one in your family offers support, ask them to pitch in. Giving them specific tasks you need help with might be the best way to garner their assistance.
5. Take care of you. We all know that exercise most days of the week and eating a balanced diet are the best ways to stay healthy. But caregivers often put both on the back burner at the holidays: try not to do that this year. Take a quick walk each day and try to eat five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables every day. It will go a long way toward helping you successfully survive the holiday season.