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Supporting Caregivers Through the Holidays

People who provide caregiving to a loved one are often forgotten. The needs of the person receiving care get most of the attention, when a caregiver can be experiencing feelings of isolation, exhaustion, and depression.

See Also: Checking In with Mom and Dad

Other family members want to help, but often don’t know what is needed.

So, to help you get what you need:

  • Enlist help from family and friends.
  • Don't be afraid to say no to the person you're caring for.
  • Re-evaluate old traditions and family rituals. Do you really want to keep observing them?
  • Take care of yourself with good nutrition, exercise, and rest.
  • You can’t be all things to all people. Develop priorities for the things that matter most, and accomplish those.
  • Schedule time to do the things that you like to do around holidays, whether it’s volunteering at the church, going to a Christmas lunch with friends or just simply sitting quietly and reading.
  • Delegate tasks. Don't try to do it all yourself.
  • Involve your loved one as much as possible in the preparation.
  • Set aside time to relax and talk to your loved one about the holidays and really listen to as they reminisce.
  • Recognize that the holidays may be a difficult time. Be realistic.
  • Stop feeling guilty about the things you can't change.

Be good to yourself over the holidays. Take time to slow down and enjoy the season, and don’t feel guilty for asking others to help.

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