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CARING FOR THE CAREGIVER: ASSESS YOUR STRESS DURING THE HOLIDAYS

December 17, 2012

The demands of the holidays can heap a lot onto your plate.  (And we’re not talking about ham and mashed potatoes!)  As joyous as this time of year is, family caregivers often suffer in silence while trying to do it all – care for a loved one, manage a household, work full time, send cards, throw a holiday get-together, etc.  It’s important to remember that not everything on your holiday “to-do” list is a necessity, and you need time to care for yourself and enjoy this most wonderful time of the year!

Assessing your to-do list can help you divvy up plans and filter out the ones that aren’t as important.  First, make a holiday “task list” of everything you have to accomplish (or think you have to accomplish).  Include items like:

 

  • Sending out your holiday cards

  • Buying gifts for your co-workers, teachers, neighbors, etc.

  • Attending any office or school parties that are “must do’s”

  • Cleaning the house and getting it ready for holiday company and family

  • Making homemade gifts for friends, co-workers or family

  • Decorating the tree

  • Decorating the house, yard, office cubicle, etc.

  •  

For each item on your list, indicate whether it is something you want to keep, eliminate, or allow someone else to help with–or take over entirely.  This last step is especially important if you are a new caregiver this holiday season.  The duties of caring for a loved one can often become  overwhelming in the best of times.  When added to the host of other functions you’ve always had to accomplish during the holidays, taking care of everything personally simply becomes too much.

 

So if someone will be taking over a task for you, write his or her name next to that task.  This simple step can help caregivers decide what’s really important this time of year and free up some time to care for themselves.  Remember, the care you give yourself is just as important as the care you give to others.  And if you become sick with the flu or a cold because of accumulated stress over the holiday season, you put both yourself and your loved one at risk.

 

If you are a new family caregiver or even a long-time one, give yourself the gift of having some help with cleaning the house, cooking meals or just caring for your loved one while you get other tasks accomplished.  We at AAging Better In-Home Care have well-trained and caring nurses, certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and caregivers available to assist with any need you or your loved one might have at this busy time of year.  Our CNAs and caregivers can help with cleaning, cooking, laundry, assistance with showers or bathing, shopping or transportation to a doctor’s appointment as a routine part of their day.  And we have RNs and LPNs available for virtually any kind of in-home specialized or intensive nursing care, when needed.

 

We pride ourselves on the high quality of care and compassion all of our nurses and caregivers bring to their clients.  If you feel you could use some assistance at this special time of year, contact us online or call us at 208-777-0308 if in the Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene or Hayden areas; at 208-263-7889 if in the Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry or Priest River areas; and 208-784-1505 if in the Kellogg, Pinehurst or Wallace areas.  Our experienced caregivers can provide the care your loved one needs and give you some time to tackle all your holiday to-do’s (naps included).

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