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Home health care during the holidays can be a stressful time for everybody. It’s no wonder the season can result in caregiver stress and depression. With the vast array of demands — parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, for caregivers it can be extra challenging when insensitive family members are thrown into the mix. When a caregiver is already juggling so many different tasks, not only can it ruin the holidays, but it can take a toll on the caregiver’s health.
We understand, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Caregivers can find effective ways to manage any issues that are likely to come up and help make it an enjoyable time for the entire family.
Here are a few practical tips from Home Health Care in Kansas City that may help minimize caregiver stress and enable them to take control of the holidays! With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.
Prepare the Family Before Their Visit
For many families getting together for the holidays may be the only time they see one another. When it has been a long while since they last saw their elderly loved one, it can be a shock when their condition has worsened. This unexpected surprise can make family members angry and irrationally upset causing a change in behavior toward the family member and caregiver. They may be offended and blame the caregiver, interfering in the senior’s care plan, causing a rift in family relationships.
Sometimes this type of behavior can be avoided by preparing the family before they visit. In a phone call or email calmly explain the decline in the loved one’s health and let them know what you are doing to address their needs. This can go a long way to help avoid extra stress or hard feelings.
Responding to Criticism
No one wants to be criticized, especially from family or friends who haven’t lifted a finger to help care for your loved one. When they make hurtful comments, try to stay as calm as possible and not feed into their animosity or harsh words. Relatives who are in denial about the senior family member’s declining health and increasing care needs can be extremely frustrating for the caregiver to contend with. Try to change the tone of the conversation and avoid arguing or lashing out at them. Walk away if you need to.
Relatives Who Avoid Helping
Convincing other family members to help with family caregiving can sometimes be a real challenge. It increases the burden on one person and often results in exhaustion and a negative impact on the caregiver’s health. A discussion of their reasons for not helping may entice them to at least try in some way to ease the caregiver’s load.
Enlisting Siblings Help
Finding ways to overcome their excuses and get them to participate in the family member’s care can be a real benefit to reducing stress and harsh feelings. When you are the only sibling taking care of your loved one, try to resolve common caregiving issues with your brothers or sisters in a calm, methodical way, explaining what the senior’s particular needs are, how you are managing their care and how they could help.
Get the grandchildren and siblings involved. Asking grandparents about their lives and their loves should be a fun and rewarding task. People, generally, are quite pleased when someone shows an interest in who they are and what they do.
Discussing matters of importance can also benefit grandparents. If grandpa or grandma is showing the early signs of dementia, talking with them can help them retain memories (or even spark new memories) before they are completely forgotten. Getting involved with conversations also helps grandpa or grandma remain social. Science shows that socialization improves overall health and well-being.
Home Care Assistance provides innovative, creative, compassionate and committed home health care in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
To speak with a Care Manager or to schedule a free in-home consultation, contact us at 913-663-5000, or visit us online.