Caregiver Burnout During the Holidays

The holidays can be a joyful time. Celebrating with family and honoring your traditions while caring for a loved one can feel good and fulfilling. On the other hand, most busy caregivers find there’s even more to do during the holidays. Caregiver burnout is higher during the holidays, but you can take some proactive measures to break this cycle.

Holiday Season Burnout

To break the cycle, we must first understand why burnout occurs. Most individuals find the holidays a more stressful time of year. Shopping, entertaining, decorating, and gathering with family require a lot of planning on top of your everyday routine. A caregiver’s duties are already stretched thin without the added burden of the holidays.

The holidays are a busy time for most people, and caregivers can’t always count on family to help with the extra duties. In addition, traveling with your loved one to a family gathering or outing may not always be possible. Elderly individuals are not always tolerant of crowds, added noises, and people they may no longer recognize. Some may even become agitated, verbally abusive, or combative in public or at home.

Celebrating the Holidays as a Caregiver

Caregiver burnout can happen any time of year. Practicing these 3 simple things can help get you through the holidays and beyond!

Communicate– Talk with family about any changes since their last visit. Involve them as much as possible in the planning. Be upfront about boundaries and time limits.

Self-care– As the old saying goes, “you can’t fill from an empty cup.” Get enough sleep, take the help when offered, and scratch “perfection” off every list. Find ways to fill your tank, like listening to Christmas music, enjoying a hobby, or driving around the neighborhood to see the decorations and lights.

Simplify– Bigger and better means more work. Simplify what you can so you can spend more quality time with everyone. Schedule events around your loved one’s daily activities. Have everyone chip in to purchase a catered meal or do a potluck where everyone brings something. Consider gifting more efficiently, such as gift cards and shopping online.

If your loved one is experiencing memory issues, our FREE memory screening can help. The initial screening isn’t a diagnosis but rather
a stepping stone. You can find out if the issues are typical age-related memory loss or if your loved one would benefit from a complete evaluation with their medical provider.

Don't forget! Check your memory

Don’t let your loved one go into the new year with unanswered questions about memory issues. Schedule your FREE memory screen here at Neuropsychiatric Research Center of Southwest Florida today! Call us at (239) 939-7777, or request an appointment online.

Sources:

https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/life-balance/info-2018/holiday-stress-tips.html

https://www.fivestarseniorliving.com/blog/how-senior-caregivers-can-manage-stress-during-the-holidays-and-covid-19

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