Caregiving During the Holidays
Often the first time families recognize their loved one’s need for senior care is at the holidays. Family and friends may have not seen the person with memory loss for a while and the changes can be dramatic. The hectic stress of holiday preparations at this time of year can also accentuate the symptoms of memory loss – leaving the person more confused, tired and agitated than normal. Whatever the reason, the holidays leave many of us seeking advice and guidance on how to help a loved one with memory loss.
Tips for caregivers
- Don’t expect the person with memory loss to participate in holiday activates as normal. Recognize their changes and preempt expectations with the rest of the family beforehand. If the family usually plans large holiday meals, perhaps the person with memory loss can spend time in a quieter location with a few visitors at a time.
- Make a plan for allocating caregiving responsibilities throughout the family.
- Get regular rest. Regular breaks from caregiving can often prolong the time a person with memory loss can remain in their home since the caregiver maintains their health and is better able to cope with the multitude of challenges that face them daily.
- Seek medical advice if your loved one’s memory loss seems to have gotten worse.
Caregiving takes up a lot of time and energy during a period that is already draining. Often caregivers neglect their own physical, emotional and spiritual health while they are caring for a loved one with memory loss and their families. For family caregivers of persons with memory loss, regular respite is essential to their ability to provide good care. The key to a successful respite plan is that the caregiver receives a complete break. They should also be able to use the time to do something for themselves. Reading or a nap can be a real treat for someone who is providing care 24-hours a day. Here are some respite ideas:
In Home Assistance – Friends, family members or a hired caregiver can provide care and companionship while the caregiver takes a break.
Respite Care – A respite stay at a memory care community can help alleviate some of the stress of the holiday season for both the caregiver and the affected person. Respite care usually offers:
- Day Programs – These are structured programs designed to provide supervision, socialization and limited care for persons with memory loss.
- Overnight Respite – Some care facilities have the ability to provide care, supervision and socialization 24-hours a day, for one or more days.
Is it time to talk to a senior living advisor about respite care options? Contact us today.