Taking Care of Loved Ones During the Holidays

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For many families, the holiday season can be an exciting time to spend with loved ones. However, if you are caring for your loved one, or they are recovering from a serious hospitalization, it can be overwhelming and bring a sense of uncertainty to your traditional holiday plans. You may be required to find additional care for your loved one or make arrangements to care for your loved one on your own, particularly if they are living with a chronic illness.

While this can be a challenging time for you and your loved one, it is important to consider taking a few steps to make the holidays more joyful. It can be difficult to know how to care for them while enjoying your annual traditions, but here are some suggestions to help you and your loved ones make the most out of the holiday season.

Set Aside Intentional Time

It can be easy to get caught up in all the holiday preparations, but it is important to set aside intentional time with your loved ones who are in post-acute recovery. Deliberately making plans to spend quality time with your loved one can make them feel valued and cared for even through the busy holiday season. They will appreciate your commitment to making them feel prioritized and creating special memories with them. Whether you are taking the time to visit them at home, or at a skilled nursing center, they will find joy in simply spending one-on-one time together.   

Regardless of how much time you spend with your loved one, it is important to make it a priority to show them how much you care. It can make a positive impact on their overall wellbeing, and they’ll cherish those memories with their family. Although the holiday season can be demanding, spending time with your loved one is one of the most important things you can do to help provide emotional support and care for your loved one during their recovery.

Communicate Expectations

It is crucial to effectively communicate holiday expectations with aging loved ones before making any big commitments. This ensures your family is on the same page about what to expect when it comes to accommodating holiday plans to meet the needs of your loved one whose health may be impacted.

If they are recovering from a recent hospitalization, their physical and mental health may impact their ability to engage in holiday traditions and interact with family members for long periods of time. It is important for you and your loved one to communicate openly and honestly about what their limitations are, what traditions are important to them, and any concerns they may have about the holiday season during this time in their life.

Proactively communicating holiday expectations and adapting traditions to accommodate the health needs of your loved one can help them feel heard, cared for and included, and can ease your peace of mind when it comes to preparing for the holidays.

Ask for Help

Caring for a loved one that is recovering from a hospitalization can be both rewarding and have its challenges, especially during the busy holiday season. It is important to consider asking for help, even if it is only for a few hours, to prevent feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. Whether you need time to run holiday errands, or prepare your home for guests, asking other family members or friends to help with direct care for your loved one can help you balance the needs of your own family.

If your family and friends are also caught up in the busyness of the season, it may be time to consider respite care for your loved one. Respite care is offered at many skilled nursing centers to help provide short-term relief for caregivers, allowing them some time to prioritize their own personal needs. This around-the-clock level of care ensures your loved one’s medical needs are being met while you have the time to rest and manage other holiday tasks.

At Prestige, we are dedicated to providing support for not only our residents, but also for the caregivers in their lives. Whether it is for a day or a couple weeks, our onsite clinical team is dedicated to providing your loved one with the care they need through our Respite Care Services.

Incorporate New Traditions

If your loved one has limited mobility or is staying at a skilled nursing center, it may be more difficult for them to attend family holiday celebrations. Instead, try a new tradition and bring the holidays to them. Whether they are recovering at home, or at a skilled nursing center, consider spending a day helping them decorate their space, sharing holiday memories, and even bringing them a meaningful gift or their favorite holiday treat.

Sharing new holiday memories with your loved one can bring them a sense of meaning and comfort regardless of where they are in their recovery journey. Whether you are continuing with past traditions or require adapting based on your loved one’s medical needs, they will find joy in being surrounded by their family.  

Remember, the holidays do not need to be a stressful time of the year for your family and recovering loved one. There are steps you can take to help relieve the pressure of caring for an aging loved one while enjoying the happiness of the holiday season. Although plans and traditions may change, it is important to make the most of the time you get to spend with loved ones. Savor the memories of new traditions and do not hesitate to ask for help when it is needed.

At Prestige, we understand the challenges families face as their loved one ages which is why we are dedicated to providing high-quality, compassionate care for all our residents and their families. If you or a loved one requires additional care after a serious medical event or hospitalization, we are here to help. Contact a Prestige Care Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center near you to learn more.