Tips For Navigating The Holiday Season For You And Your Patients
Most cultures and individuals celebrate one or more holidays. The festivities are typically in remembrance of meaningful events. Pegasus Home Health Care recognizes the diversity of special occasions for their clients and the professionals who assist them.
Pegasus skilled in-home caregivers in West Los Angeles and elsewhere know that celebrations are often emotional. Although many people anticipate holidays, some are stressed or depressed. Career home health care nurses offer tips on navigating the holiday season for you and your patients.
Celebrations often include friends and family. These aren’t always happy or peaceful occasions. That’s especially true for family caregivers who generally bear the brunt of the preparations.
Holidays often remind individuals of past celebrations. For some, especially the elderly, the memories can be bittersweet. They remember all that’s been lost over the years.
Holiday Celebrations Often Overwhelm Caregivers
Meeting the daily needs of their loved one can leave many family caregivers exhausted. Adding holiday planning can overwhelm them. Rather than joyous, they feel frustrated and unhappy.
Relatives can be a source of added stress for caregivers. Family members that come around only during holidays may be critical of the caregiver. Some offer what they think are helpful suggestions instead of the help that’s needed.
Everything is compounded if the loved one is cognitively impaired. Routine is essential for most impaired patients. Their care needs escalate with the changes and interruptions that come with visitors and activities.
Good Communication Is Essential For Happy Holidays
If your patient has cognition issues, suggest that family members who rarely interact with them be warned. That’s also necessary if other health conditions have worsened since the last time visitors saw your patients.
Remind family caregivers that communication is essential. Help them call or compose a note to relatives explaining the loved one’s condition. That can prevent negative reactions that can be hurtful.
If caregivers have a potentially adversarial relationship with visitors, advise them to air their grievances before celebrations begin. If that’s not possible, suggest they do the following:
- Revise their expectations: They’ve probably had interactions with troublesome relatives for years. Those individuals are unlikely to change, and it’s a waste of energy to expect them to. If family caregivers have lowered expectations, it’s possible to avoid or minimize conflict.
- Make sure that the loved one has realistic expectations: Some family members unfortunately are not capable of handling physical or mental decline. They may choose to be no-shows at important activities. The loved one needs to know in advance that they won’t be spending time with specific individuals. That helps to reduce their distress or hurt.
- Uninvite the true troublemakers: Some people are bound to ruin any celebrations or get-togethers. Remind family caregivers that they are responsible for protecting their loved one. They should not feel guilty about excluding hurtful people.
Your priority is your patient’s well-being. When family caregivers are stressed, their care suffers. Helping caregivers have enjoyable celebrations benefits them and their loved one.
Preserve Energy By Saying No To Excessive Holiday Celebrations
All caregivers must be aware of how much energy they have. That’s crucial every day, not just during the holidays. It’s also true for you both in your role as a professional caregiver and in caring for your family.
It’s essential that you and family caregivers learn how to say no when requests exceed available energy or ability. For example, it’s okay to say no to:
- Going all out on extravagant decorations. A few special items are usually enough to set the mood.
- Observing time-worn traditions. If doing what has “always been done” takes a lot of time and energy, just pick one special observance. Or start a new, simpler tradition.
- Preparing elaborate homemade meals. If you or they are going to host a holiday dinner, make it a potluck. Or, if it fits the budget, hire a caterer.
- Spending hours selecting the perfect gift for a multitude of individuals. There’s no shame in ordering online if necessary. But remind yourself and caregivers that the best gift is spending relaxed and enjoyable time together.
Above all, learn to say no to guilt. Now is not the past. It’s time to make celebrations fit the way life is now.
Offer Family Caregivers Respite Care
Respite care is part of Pegasus services. It gives family caregivers a break when they become stressed, overwhelmed, or burned out. Respite care can be for as long as they need it, whether for an hour now and then or for longer breaks.
We’re Hiring Professional Caregivers
Pegasus skilled in-home caregivers in West Los Angeles and our other locations understand the stresses of the holiday season. They find ways to assist their patients and others enjoy the festivities. Career home health care nurses help tailor the celebrations to fit the needs of each client.
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. We encourage caring professionals to share their holiday celebrations and cultural observances when they join our team. We’re an equal opportunity employer.