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Hope For The Holidays
Prepare Others for Changes
Managing expectations and opening up the
door for helpful family starts with a “pep” talk. If the
extended family is unaware of the extra burden and
stress a caregiver is handling, they are unable to be of
help. It’s easy for children and grandchildren to swoop
in as usual, expecting Mom’s best ham on the table, and
not realize the effort it took to put it there.
A few small changes can make holiday
Host a potluck meal.
Explain a loved one’s circumstances
or special needs to guests beforehand.
Name tags may be helpful.
Prioritize your activities.
Keep visits shorter.
Find creative ways to make gift
giving less of a hassle.
Preparing the loved one with special
needs for the holiday festivities can be as important as
preparing the rest of the family. If someone has
problems around sundown, celebrate earlier in the day
and have them in a safe, comfortable place later on.
Play familiar music and serve familiar foods that will
not make them feel anxious or confused. Showing pictures
of those coming to visit also will help ease any feeling
of confusion and embarrassment if they can’t remember
names and familial relationships.
The balancing act can be tricky for a
caregiver, but with a little prep and a lot of patience,
the holidays can be a fun time, giving a family the
opportunity to make a lot of new memories to last a
lifetime. Sometimes the way it’s “always been done” is
not the way it “needs” to be done.