For Alzheimer’s caregivers, the most wonderful time of year can actually be one of the most stressful. The unique challenges caregivers face when they are trying to keep a loved one with Alzheimer’s healthy and safe can make the days long and challenging. When you add the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to an already packed schedule, the result can be a weary, stressed out caregiver.
If you are a caregiver looking for ways to make the season more manageable this year, we have a few ideas you might find to be helpful.
4 Ways to Beat Holiday Caregiver Stress
1. Downsize traditional celebrations
Simplify your holiday gatherings. If you’ve always invited your extended family over for a formal dinner party during the season, for example, give yourself permission to scale that back this year. Consider hosting a potluck or a cookie exchange. Both are easier on the hostess and still provide friends and family with a way to enjoy one another’s company.
2. Skip shopping at the mall
Unless you enjoy the festive decorations at the mall so much you are willing to fight the crowds, skip shopping there this season. Big crowds can cause agitation and anxiety for caregivers and for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Instead, take advantage of a few of the many online stores that offer free shipping during the holidays or give friends and family gift cards instead of presents. If you really want to shop in person, small local stores might be less crowded.
3. Set realistic expectations
Most of us struggle with this one during the holiday season. We want a perfectly decorated Christmas tree, perfectly wrapped gifts, and holiday meals that look magazine worthy. When you are a caregiver, especially for a loved one who has Alzheimer’s, setting high expectations can make the season even more demanding.
Make your priority to lower your expectations so you can relax and enjoy the season. Focus more on spending time with family and friends and less on all of the holiday trappings.
4. Ask for and accept help
Caregivers deserve time to celebrate the season with friends. If you don’t have any family members who are able to stay with your loved one while you enjoy a night out, explore respite care services in your area. Assisted living communities and home care agencies typically offer short-term support so busy caregivers can take a break.
Respite Care at Five Star Senior Living
Respite guests at Five Star Senior Living communities receive all of the same care and support as long-term residents. They can also participate in a wide variety of life enrichment activities and enjoy our flexible MyChoice dining program.
Call the Five Star community nearest you to learn more about respite care for an Alzheimer’s loved one this holiday season.