Holiday Encouragement For In Home Caregivers

| Saturday, December 22, 2012
By John Adams

Two days following Christmas in 1947, the Saturday Evening Post made feature of a cover of iconic painter Norman Rockwell's "Tired Salesgirl on Christmas Eve." In Rockwell's well known painting, a fatigued looking sales clerk slumps against a wall with her shoes kicked off during a vast array of disheveled dolls and wrapping paper. While we may find this slightly amusing in relating to Rockwell's whimsical depiction of one careworn holiday worker, there are a large number of Americans feel completely warn out during the holiday period without wrapping a gift or partying through out the season.

These patient caregivers are those who look after their family members or close friend each and every day, 365 days a year. It can be a lonely and thankless position to be in. Caregivers can become tired and worn down easily as they cope with seeing a relative or companion's condition deteriorate. The Christmas and New Year period can be particularly lonely and difficult as most people are out and about celebrating a great year or their hopes for the upcoming year. Caregivers can feel out of the loop and caught up in the difficult circumstances affecting their loved one.

According to Dan Fox, President Right At Home - Palm Springs and Desert Cities for family caregivers the holidays are particularly challenging because they often feel torn between being there fully for their loved one and wanting to be free to enjoy festivities with family and friends . Caregivers can do both and avoid extra stress and negative feelings that tend to surface during the holidays since there are workable solutions fortunately. We see firsthand how important it is for family caregivers not to feel alone or forgotten while the rest of the community celebrates the season when our staff assists a family with adult home care." The following ways are suggested by Fox to family caregivers who can lighten their load from now through New Year's:

When it comes to the holiday season, it is best to change your viewpoint about most things. By coming up short on many plans, people are prone to frustration and anxiety. Plan ahead and set a realistic, but not outlandish goal for the things that come about in this time, including gift-giving, baking, and all the other relevant aspects of the season.

Be mindful of feelings. Family caregivers deal with a whole array of emotions such as frustration with lack of assistance to fear over a future which can not be predicted. It is quite depressing that the loved one can no longer reside in their own home alone anymore or attend social events during the holiday season, so caregivers need to set aside time to listen to and work to these particular concerns.

Do not deny "good enough." If the tree lights are uneven this year, tell yourself that it's good enough and okay. If you only have time to bake one round of cookies, it's good enough. If you need to send your holiday cards after January 1, it's good enough. For family caregivers already stretched thin, perfect isn't always best.

Abandon expectations, release yourself from thinking that there is a correct way to spend the holidays. Put aside ideas that you should do something, feel a certain way or follow expected traditions.

Consider "good enough." If the tree lights appear to be uneven this year, just tell yourself that this is simply not good enough as you deserve a better outcome. If you have restricted time which only allows you to bake one round of cookies, it's good enough. If the only option is to send out your holiday cards after January 1, it's good enough. In relation to family caregivers already stretched to the limit, perfect isn't always considered a smart choice.

Time to let go. Family caregivers can waste a huge amount of emotional energy wishing circumstances were vastly different for their loved one. A key element to deriving enjoyment from the holidays is to stop trying to make changes. Make a promise to end the year letting go of negative attitudes, relationship tensions and previous mistakes that can adversely interfere with the best care for your beloved aged or ill relative.

Day to day routines of care giving can be exhausting. Family and friends can lessen the burden by providing that much needed break. You may also consider Right at Home for the professional services they provide, and rest assured your loved one is in capable hands.

People such as Norman Rockwell added a little lightheartedness to the picture-perfect holiday with his depiction of cross-eyed sales clerk who was able to contend with the dreaded Christmas rush. People were not meant to run ragged by doing it all during the holidays, particularly family caregivers who have chosen to greatly reduce their focus on the invaluable gifts of extending love and self-sacrifice to each other.

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