It’s National Family Caregiver Month and November is the perfect time to develop a caregiver holiday season plan. Houston caregivers have excellent resources on hand for planning respite care, seeking additional help in the home or planning events.
Take a moment and assess changes that you can make in your daily routine so that you and your loved one can savor the joys of the holiday season, while lessening the impact of added stresses.
- Plan ahead for family gatherings. Take a moment to assess family gatherings that could be too stressful for you or your loved one. Map out an exit strategy if the event is too much for either one of you.
- Shake up traditions. If you usually prepare and host the family’s holiday meal, consider passing the torch to the next generation’s favorite cook. Or, phone up a favorite restaurant and book a private room.
- Does shopping seem like an impossible task? Shop online, purchase gift cards to a favorite store, or make a gift to a favorite charity in the recipient’s name. Or, consider gifting a favorite and beloved heirloom.
- Stay active. It may be a busy time, but proper exercise shouldn’t give way to chaos and the harried pace. Regular exercise and meditation will help maintain a high energy level.
- Treat yourself. Don’t forget to “care for the caregiver” by planning spa days, visits with cherished friends, or an afternoon pursuing a favorite hobby.
- Schedule respite care. Plan early for overnight care for your loved one so that you may visit out-of-town family or friends.
- Has giftwrapping and decorating become too much of a chore? Check with your local high school or neighborhood youth groups that may be looking for fundraising opportunities or community service projects.
- Scale back. Instead of baking 60 dozen cookies, prepare a one-dish dessert that is a family favorite.
- Host small gatherings throughout the season. If your loved one cannot cope in large groups, consider inviting one or two guests for a quiet afternoon tea, or host a small lasagna dinner for a favorite niece and her family. Everyone will benefit from the intimacy of the small group.
- Finally, plan quiet time and reflect upon what the holiday season means to you and your loved one. Do you prefer a quiet walk through the city? Does a country drive sound better than an afternoon at town’s holiday festival? Choose what suits your style for the present.
The website www.caregiverstress.com features a Caregiver Stress Assessment Test that helps you determine if your stress-reducing tips are working for you. If not, it may be time to re-evaluate and re-tool your caregiving plan before the holidays.
And, if you need additional assistance please visit the Houston-area Agency on Aging website for additional resources.
We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior that could benefit from our vast array of home care services in Houston, please call us at 832 379-4700 or email us. We accept most long term care insurance as payment and have a full time staff supervising more than 100 quality-trained home care personnel covering the Houston, Texas area.