The holidays can be a stressful time, especially for those who are caring for a senior loved one with dementia. The changes in schedule and additional responsibilities are just plain overwhelming and can disrupt life for the caregiver, as well as the senior. However, rather than just submit to the chaos and struggle with “getting things back to normal” after the holidays, there are many things that families can implement to minimize stress and make the holidays a more joyous time.
Stick to the Normal Schedule
Although this is not always possible, try to stick to the routine as much as possible, even on busy holidays. For instance, even in the midst of other holiday activities, try to ensure that mom eats meals around the same time, or that bathing and dressing occurs as it would on any other day. This can not only help keep you organized, but can help provide your loved one with some familiarity with their environment and routine – something that has proven to help minimize common dementia symptoms such as agitation and anxiety.
Use Support Services Wisely
Sometimes, family caregivers may be inclined to not use their regular support services over holiday breaks. They assume that because they will be home and more people may be around, they will not need the help. Some may even feel guilty for asking for help during the holidays. However, using support services, even if only on a part-time basis can not only help to solidify your regular routine, but can be essential in providing you with the break you need, especially as demands may be heightened during this time. Click here to learn more about hourly home care services for as-needed support.
Plan Ahead for Life’s Disruptions
Family caregiver should always plan for some disruptions, as well as how they will handle them in advance. When having guests over, it’s important to plan for activities that will help to distract and calm them should they start to feel uneasy. The same goes for traveling. Family caregivers and other members should be aware of their loved one’s “triggers” so they can avoid them while on the road. Planning for activities that can be played on-the-go and bringing comfort objects can also help to minimize any fears that your loved one may have in a new environment.
If you are concerned about how you are going to handle the upcoming holiday season with your role as a dementia caregiver, don’t be afraid to reach out. Home Care Assistance of New Hampshire is here to help. We offer in-home dementia care in New Hampshire, delivered by expertly trained and compassionate caregivers. With their support, you can rest assured that your loved one’s needs will be taken care of, allowing you to better enjoy the holiday as a family member, not a caregiver. Call us at 603-471-3004 to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation today.