Holidays: a time of joy, a time of stress for hospice caregivers
By Patty Ayers
From the beginning of November to the beginning of January one of the major concerns that many caregivers share with me is the stress associated with the upcoming holidays, combined with the stress of caring for their loved one. Many caregivers feel “obligated” to keep things “the way they’ve always been” for the sake of their children, grandchildren or parents. Do yourself a big favor and consider alternatives that will ease your stress. Life has most likely not been the status quo since your loved one became ill, so why try to keep it normal when it will make you feel overwhelmed?
Discuss your concerns with your family members prior to the holiday and give them the chance to offer to have the celebration at their house if possible. If you can’t leave the house suggest something low-key like “light snacks” instead of a big dinner. Also, consider making it only a few hours instead of an all day event. If a big dinner is what you would like, then ask people to bring a dish and that someone else coordinates who brings each dish.
Lastly don’t be afraid to ask for help, most likely this is a good opportunity for those family members who feel that they do not do enough for you throughout the year, to contribute in a small way. Remember that this is your holiday too, and you deserve to relax and have fun!