Tis The Season What’s The Plan?

by Nadine Cornish
in Blog
on 11 December 2015
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I still don’t know how it happened but once again the holidays are upon us. In just a blink of an eye, it’s that time of year again. And if this isn’t your first go-round as a caregiver navigating the waters during the holidays then you’ve likely learned a thing or two and here are additional suggestions. If it is your first time around, chances are, you’ll find this useful.

You’ve heard it again and again. If you fail to plan then you plan to fail. As a caregiver, you know the best laid plans can go awry at anytime. The important thing however, is to have a plan.

Plan #1 – For the caregiver, it’s essential that you plan respite during this time. An afternoon, evening, full day or even a whole weekend away from your caregiving responsibilities can go a long way in giving you the much needed rest, rejuvenation and fresh perspective that you need as you experience the holidays. Ask family and friends to help by providing respite care or hire help if you can. But by all means, be willing to accept the help that you need.

Plan #2 – Forget Santa’s List. Create your Caregiver’s “Need/Wish List”. Your very own special list that’s at the ready so when someone says, “Oh, I’d like to help out, what do you need”, your only hesitation will be, just a moment, let me check the list. This list may contain tasks that need to be done around the house, for example, errands that can be run, meal preparation, a few hours of sitting time with your loved one or simply a visit. No one knows your needs like you do. Put those needs on a list. People who ask, really do want to help out, they often don’t know how best to help. Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, let people who care about you know just how they can help.

I personally have 15 years under my belt as a family caregiver and an additional six years as a Consultant and Coach. Several years ago, my mom had been having a particularly rough time and didn’t want to go out on Christmas Day. My hubby, who was an amazing caregiver to my mom, cajoled and insisted that we all go over to his parents’ home, which was the tradition. Though it was cold and snowing, mom eventually said yes and we all bundled up and headed out for the visit fake watches for sale. We weren’t there thirty minutes before mom whispered that she really needed to go back home. I didn’t hesitate. We bundled up again and headed home. I realized then that my mom needed the peace, beauty and serenity of her own.

Plan #3 – Create new traditions with your loved ones. Do things that are in sync with where they are in the process of their illness. Unfortunately, sickness doesn’t take a hiatus for the holidays. Creating new memories while looking through photo albums, listening to Christmas music, decorating the house with favorite holiday mementos is a great place to start. Preparing (or having someone else prepare) their favorite, your favorite comfort foods are always a hit. Coloring books for adults is all the rave right now. You’ll find it therapeutic, comforting and medicinal for both you and your loved one. Plan something new this holiday. You and your loved one will be glad you did.

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