HCMF-Caregiving And The Holidays; How To Cope


For many caregivers the holiday season gives rise to stress, frustration and anger, instead of peace and good will.
Caregivers may feel resentful towards other family members who they feel have not offered enough assistance. Managing care for someone who has a cognitive impairment may leave caregivers feeling that they will not be able to participate as fully as they would like in family gatherings. Already feeling overwhelmed with caregiving tasks, stressed-out caregivers may view traditional holiday preparations as more of a drain of precious energy than a joy.
Here are some suggestions that may help make the holidays more enjoyable for you and your loved ones. Keep in mind that the holidays can, in fact, provide unique opportunities to seek better communication, connection and support from family and friends.
Create a calm, safe place. Make sure to avoid safety hazards. It is best to avoid decorations and clutter that will create the need to rearrange familiar rooms. Play your loved one’s favorite music, either holiday or familiar.
Holiday Activities. Give the person with dementia a job they can complete safely. This will help keep them occupied and might help you as well. Make sure the person with dementia has a familiar place they can retreat to if the noise and activity become overwhelming. Keep your loved one’s routine as consistent as you can.
Preparing Others. Special occasions and holidays are full of emotion, so it can help to let family and friends know ahead of time about a loved one’s changes in behavior and appearance. Preparing others with an honest appraisal of the person’s condition can help avoid uncomfortable situations.
Take care of yourself. Self-care is crucial. Pick and choose important activities and traditions and don’t try to accomplish everything. Give yourself permission to say no. Family and friends often want to help, they just don’t know what to offer. Allow someone to stay with your loved one so you can take a break, even if just for an hour to get an errand done.
Applications for assistance are available if you or someone you know is battling with Alzheimer’s or dementia. For more information you may contact Ranae Walrath, 660-890-7294 or Christa Atchison, 660-525-1338.
Interested in donating to the fund? Donations can be made online at http://cfozarks.org/donate. At the bottom of the page, type Henry County Memory Fund into the box and select the name when it shows in the list. It will take you to a new page to donate. If you would like to donate by writing a check, please make it payable to Henry County Memory Fund and mailed to PO Box 741, Clinton, MO 64735.