The holidays are full of friends, family, and celebrations, making it the happiest time of the year for most people. For Alzheimer’s caregivers, however, the added pressure of the holiday season can magnify their responsibilities.
Shopping for gifts, attending holiday parties, and cooking special meals can be overwhelming. Bad weather—especially in states like Wisconsin—can make it even more difficult to enjoy holiday festivities. Caregivers can end up feeling lonely and isolated. Here are a few ways caregivers can prevent the holiday blues and enjoy the season.
Preventing the Holiday Blues When You Are an Alzheimer’s Caregiver
1. Make time for social events
Many caregivers turn down holiday parties because they think they will interfere with their caregiving role. However, spending time with loved ones and connecting with others is vital to your overall health and longevity.
Going out might be the last thing you feel like doing, but try your best to attend at least one gathering this holiday season. Making time for social events can allow you to step away from your caregiving role and participate in the fun.
2. Modify how you do your holiday shopping
Holiday shopping is a common struggle for Alzheimer’s caregivers. The stores are crowded and can be over-stimulating for adults with Alzheimer’s. This could make your loved one feel disoriented and agitated—it can even lead to wandering.
Caregivers may feel guilty about not being able to go shopping. Rather than skipping holiday shopping altogether, caregivers can learn to shop differently.
Here are a few ways caregivers can do their holiday shopping without feeling like they are sacrificing the safety of their loved one:
• Shop online: Online shopping can be a lifesaver for Alzheimer’s caregivers because you can shop from the comfort of your own home. This allows you to be there for your loved one if they need assistance.
• Avoid crowds while shopping: If you have to take your love one shopping, take them when it isn’t as crowded. Try to go earlier in the season or on a weekday morning.
• Have someone watch your loved one: Ask a trusted family member to watch your loved one for a few hours while you go shopping. This will allow you to enjoy yourself without having to worry about your loved one’s safety.
• Make Time for Yourself: Self-care is one of the most important things caregivers can do to avoid the holiday blues. Unfortunately, many caregivers get caught up in their responsibilities and neglect their personal needs. To keep your stress levels low, make self-care a priority. Caregivers should eat a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, and take breaks when needed.
Explore Respite Care Services
If you have trouble making time for yourself, you may want to consider respite care. Randall Residence communities in the Midwest offer respite care and short-term stays for seniors. This gives caregivers some time off to recharge and relax.
Respite care can also be a great way for caregivers to let their loved one test out a community before committing to a more permanent arrangement.
We hope these tips help you avoid the holiday blues—Alzheimer’s caregivers deserve to enjoy the holidays like everyone else. If you are interested in learning more about respite care at Randall Residence, you can contact us at any time for more information.