Are you a caregiver living or working with seniors over the holidays? If so, it is important to be sensitive to the fact that this busy time of year can often create a lot of stress and confusion for elders.
Tips To Help You To Help Them:
- PLAN AHEAD
We look forward to visiting with family and friends during the holiday season, but it can be exhausting. Make sure to schedule time for rest, and allow extra time for transportation so there’s no rushing around at the last minute. When visiting with a large crowd, plan ahead for a break and quite place for a quick rest.
- SIMPLIFY ROUTINES – MODIFY TRADITIONS
Different families have different traditions, and some of these can be overwhelming and exhausting. To reduce stress and accommodate everyone, try to figure out how to continue them in slightly new ways. For example, instead of long family dinners, celebrate over a light holiday brunch.
- WATCH FINANCES
Assist them to prepare and stick to a budget. There is no need to feel guilty about not being able to afford to buy grandchildren an expensive gift – it’s time together they will remember, not the gifts. Love doesn’t come from the store. Overspending only causes unnecessary worry over bills after the holidays.
- DON’T IGNORE FEELINGS OF SADNESS
Along with the fun and happy times of the holidays comes sadness for many seniors – especially those who have lost loved ones. It is OK for people to feel sad during what should be a happy time. It is OK to acknowledge losses and talk about memories of loved ones. Very often just being able to share feelings and reminisce can help.
- REMIND THEM WHAT THE HOLIDAYS ARE ABOUT
The holidays are all about being grateful for what we have, and connections we have with family, friends and community. Encourage the seniors in your life to spend time with family and friends to help minimize feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Drake Medox College’s Health Care Assistant instructor Charlene Murphy spent many years working with seniors, and enjoys sharing these and other great tips with her students. If you are interested in caregiver training, contact an admissions advisor @ 604 629-0196, and inquire about one of our short duration Certificate courses.