Director, Senior Center Services, Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles
Sheila Moore has been working with caregivers for over 25 years. She is a community educator, active support group leader and advocate for those who care for family members with memory loss or those who live with chronic health conditions.
Caregivers face daily stressors while caring for a family member with memory loss. Add on holiday expectations and increased holiday burden, and these stressors can easily escalate and become overwhelming, leading to what I call the “perfect storm” for caregivers – “Holidaze”.
“Holidaze”: Feelings of fatigue, anger, resentment, disconnect, sadness and opportunities lost. These holiday home care tips can help family caregivers make the most of the holidays for seniors and the whole family:
Triggers to Watch Out For
Your own expectations of what the holiday must include What has been important to your family member in the past The arrival of out-of-town or less-involved family Keeping meaningful traditions Each of these triggers can tip the scale on stress levels and create a sense of unmanageability and overwhelm. What to do?
Making Space for Yourself
During the holidays, the paradox of the caregiving experience is never more true. We know that you spend much of your energy making sure the family member you care for is comfortable, well cared for and safe. On the other hand, if you are able to find comfort, feel at ease, find meaning and reduce your stress, this will naturally translate into a better experience for your family member. While caregivers generally put themselves last on the daily “to do” list, we invite you to make space for yourself and create a holiday experience that has meaning.