A Caregiver’s Guide to Managing Holiday Stress
In-home caregivers are no strangers to managing stress on a daily basis. Between running errands, preparing meals, administering medications, caring for a variety of seniors and people with disabilities, and managing all the tasks that come with caregiving, knowing how to handle stress is par for the course. However, the holidays come with more than a little added cheer — the holiday season comes with added tasks and stress factors, as well.
The holidays can be difficult for people with disabilities and for seniors who have illnesses like dementia. Sidewalks are more crowded, stores are busier, and familiar spaces are changed with decorations and visitors. When seniors are dealing with cognitive impairment or mobility issues, these things are challenging to navigate and can make symptoms worse. There may also be extra triggers during the holidays, such as feelings of loneliness and isolation for seniors who have lost family members.
5 Ways for In-Home Caregivers to Reduce Stress
What is an in-home caregiver to do? The following caregiving tips can help reduce holiday stress for both caregivers and people receiving care.
This may seem like a simple thing, but the physical toll of added stress can lead to dehydration. When people are busy running extra errands and managing extra tasks, they can forget the simple benefits of drinking water throughout the day. A good tip is to increase your average daily water intake by one extra glass during the holidays.
Santa isn’t the only one who benefits from making a list and checking it twice! In-home caregivers will need to adjust their regular care plans, and especially dementia care plans, in order to accommodate changes during the holiday season. There could be extra visits or events to attend or changes in a client’s diet if they want to indulge in holiday foods. Planning ahead will save time and provide peace of mind.
Ask for Help
In-home caregivers are so good at multitasking that it starts to become almost like a superpower. This can cause caregivers to think that they can also handle doing things on their own, but it is better not to underestimate just how stressful the holiday busyness can be. In-home caregivers can reach out to their home care agencies for added support or can ask for guidance on how to prepare for unexpected holiday challenges.
Tap Into Empathy
Empathy and compassion are requirements for providing high quality caregiving services. These skills can be applied to situations outside of caregiving as well. Keep in mind that many people will be dealing with extra stress over the holidays and try not to take other people’s behaviors personally. Understanding that seniors with illnesses may be experiencing more symptoms than usual will also help caregivers prepare for changing situations and behaviors.
Get into the Spirit
It is common for in-home caregivers to automatically fall into a caregiving role even when they aren’t with clients. Caring for others and being the “helper” can become a default role when it is something you do day in and day out. Caregivers will be more relaxed if they can remember that the holiday season is a time meant for their enjoyment, too. Find ways to have a little holiday joy. ’Tis the season!
Provide Quality In-Home Care Services
The best thing caregivers can do over the holidays is provide high quality in-home care services for their clients. Working for a reputable in-home care agency helps because caregivers receive ongoing education, specialized training, and stable support from an agency team.
If you are interested in becoming an in-home caregiver for Alegre Home Care or if you are interested in receiving in-home care services, please reach out to us at one of our Northern California locations. We believe individuals and communities are important, and we always strive to make the holiday season a happy time of the year for all.