The Holidays Are Approaching…How Prepared Are You?

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You’re not alone!

AARP reports that an estimated 39.8 million individuals provide unpaid care to a loved one- – with over half of care recipients being over the age of 75. The RAND  report notes that an estimated 1.1 million additional individuals provide care to a service member who has been ill, injured, or wounded during post 9/11 service — and 4.4 million care for service members of older war eras. Those who provide care have an important role – to always be a step ahead in regards to preparations that may seem normal to most people.

Planning ahead

As we move into the holiday season, how prepared are you? Are you confident about making any necessary adjustments for your care recipient and/or loved one? Are you ready to make the necessary changes for family visits? Do you know what those changes should be? Are you aware of any triggers that should be avoided or that you should steer your care recipient or loved one away from, such as certain holiday music or festivities? Should you try to avoid too many lights or crowds–normal seasonal features? As a caregiver, you should start thinking about these and similar concerns as the holidays approach.

Resources for an enjoyable holiday season

Stand Up For Caregivers is one of a number of sites that provide helpful resources and advice to caregivers. This site acknowledges the importance of caregivers being prepared for holiday festivities, and notes that the holiday months of November and December contribute to the most stressful times for caregivers.  Sites such as Stand up for Caregivers give tips about all matters related to caregiving, including ways to manage the holiday seasons. I look forward to sharing tips from a number of these agencies as the busy holiday season approaches.

Stay stress-free!

The caregiver community should be aware of the specific kinds of triggers that might pose challenges for care recipients and be as prepared as possible. Above and beyond being aware of the triggers likely to cause your care recipient discomfort, knowing what makes them most comfortable is crucial, especially during holiday seasons, which can be stressful in and of themselves. Do you plan on baking? Making creative gifts for loved ones? Do you plan on making on-line or in-store gift purchases? What activities can you engage in, such as exercising, meditating, taking walks, and doing yoga to relieve stress? Pressures do come with all holidays. I’ll address these activities and other recommendations over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
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