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Holiday, Gifts and Stress

By Jude Roberts, Staff Writer

(Page 3 of 4)

Managing Visitors

Itís also a good idea to prepare your visitors for how your loved one may react during the gathering, and what to expect from their condition. This way, it wonít be shock if relatives and friends havenít seen them for a while.

Make sure to prepare friends and relatives regarding the condition of your loved one, especially if they havenít seen them in quite a while. The behavior or condition of the person youíre caring for may come as quite a shock, so itís best that everyone is informed ahead of time so that everyone is at ease and relaxed during a holiday visit.

Donít focus on how the holidays ďusedĒ to be, but focus instead on what a wonderful gift it is to have your loved one with you for yet another holiday season. The top-two priorities for you during this time of year is maintaining health and happiness, for the person you care for and for yourself as well. If you can, go ahead and by yourself a gift, something youíve had your eye on for quite a while. Try to take time off from other obligations and responsibilities in order to re-energize during this season.

Have smaller gatherings; this will help reduce the noise and stress level for you both. Itís okay to set limits, and make sure that everyone in the family, as well as friends, understand what you need as a caregiver during this time. Donít be afraid to ask for help, and to delegate holiday tasks among family and friends. Donít spread yourself too thin by volunteering to help others. Itís okay to say no, and when you do, make it short and simple, and donít apologize; it should be abundantly clear as to why you canít do something, until you actually have extra time on your hands (and when is that really going to happen?). Hopefully, family and friends will want to know what you want or need for the holidays for yourself. Definitely put respite at the top of your list as what youíd like to receive the most.

Gifts For You

A day at the spa - a day of massages, facials, manicures and pedicures would be a perfect gift. Caregivers are often so busy meeting everyone else's needs that they overlook their own needs. A service that is totally self-indulgent is a rarity to someone who normally thinks of others first.

Gift card for movie rentals - this is a great way for you to catch up on some of the movies you may have missed at the theaters. Ask for some microwave popcorn, traditional movie candies, and may be even a new set of pajamas to go along with the gift card, all perfect for upholding the true tradition of home theater viewing.

Gift certificate for a clothing boutique - the wardrobe of a caregiver generally consists of wash and wear clothing (for obvious reasons), so having the opportunity to shop for an outfit that is something other than cotton is a fun splurge. 


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