Managing Holiday Stress as a Caregiver

A caregiver sits with her senior parent during the holiday season.

The holidays are supposed to be such a joyous, fun-filled time of the year. Shopping, holiday parties and family gatherings are in abundance, making this a great occasion to connect with others and spend quality time. But for caregivers of seniors, the holiday season may leave you more stressed and overwhelmed than ever before. You have a lot on your plate year-round, but the pressure to look after your loved one during the holidays can be a bit much and lead to caregiver stress and even burnout.

According to an AARP Family Caregiver Survey, 7 in 10 family caregivers say it is emotionally stressful to care for loved ones during the holiday season. If you find yourself feeling burdened this year, the following strategies to cope might be helpful.

Advice for Caregivers During the Holidays

One of the most important things to remember is that caring for yourself is just as important as caring for your loved one. Making sure your physical and mental health are a priority is critical for feeling your best and allowing you to provide the best care possible.

Try these tips for managing your holiday stress and bringing joy back into the season:

  1. Simplify the festivities. Maybe it’s just not feasible to decorate every room this year. You could try choosing just a few items to display that are most significant to you and your family. If it’s too much to prepare a full course meal for dinner, consider cooking just a few favorite dishes for everyone to enjoy. Some caregivers get overwhelmed at sending out holiday cards. Instead, try sending an e-greeting or a “Happy Holidays” text or voicemail to save time and energy. The holidays don’t have to be all or nothing – it’s what you make it that counts.
  2. Give yourself permission to say “no.” You don’t have to accommodate every request that comes your way. When someone asks you to bring dessert for the holiday party or shop for a gift for a local shelter, you might feel obligated to do so. Remind yourself that you already have caregiver responsibilities to handle in addition to managing your own life, and that it’s okay to choose not to participate in activities that are overwhelming.
  3. Ask for help and arrange caregiver assistance early. This last tip can be the most difficult for family caregivers to consider. Many senior caregivers see their role as a noble duty, feeling guilt or self-doubt by admitting they need help. Ask your family to pitch in with providing care so you can take a break for yourself. If your friend is going holiday shopping, ask her to pick up a few things for you. Additionally, many senior living communities offer home care and companion services that are perfect for caregivers who need relief. There is help available if you seek it.

Find Support for Caregivers at Advent Christian Village

Dacier Manor at Advent Christian Village can offer the caregiving assistance you need. Dacier Manor is a beautiful, supportive assisted living community for seniors who could benefit from some daily help and support. You’ll find a thriving, vibrant environment with a caring staff devoted to services like daily meals, housekeeping, medication supervision and more.

Additionally, for seniors who wish to stay at home in a more familiar environment, we offer ACV Home Care and companion services to support seniors, caregivers and their families. Contact us for more information or to schedule a visit of our beautiful senior living community in Dowling Park, Florida.

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