The holidays are already stress-FULL enough, but when you are a caregiver then that stress can multiply 10-fold. Here are a few tips that can make it more enjoyable for all involved.
I think the main thing you need to remember is that things have changed so you are going to have to flexible if you want to maintain a stress-free holiday. If you are willing to be flexible and make some necessary changes then you should be just fine. If you care for someone with Alzheimer’s changing your evening festivities from evening to afternoon or morning will make a world of difference.
You have to let go of what you think the holidays should be. We all have this picture in our head of what our perfect holiday celebration will be like. I say throw it out. Lower your expectations. Do what you can do and what you can’t just let it go. You have to learn to live in your reality, not what you wish it would be or what it used to be. That is expecting too much from not only the one you are caregiving for, but also for the caregiver as well.
That leads me to my next tip. You cannot do it all so don’t even try! If you usually cook the whole Christmas dinner that’s terrific now that would be impossible. Make it a pot luck. Everyone would be happy to make a dish and bring it. Just ask.
Delegate, delegate, delegate! Do you usually decorate the tree all by yourself hand it off to someone else? Maybe a sibling, spouse, or friend. Also, give up decorating the outside or throwing that holiday anything that is only going to add more stress. Will it really matter that much if your blow up Santa never makes it out of the garage this year?
If you find your caregiving abilities being called out stand up for yourself. Don’t let someone who has no clue what’s going on bother you! If someone criticizes your caregiving skills tell them that they are more than happy to take over care.