Caregivers’ Priorities Shift During the Holidays

Caregivers’ Priorities Shift During the Holidays
Some of us are still adjusting to writing 2019 on bank checks, and here we are knocking on the door of the holidays. The older we become, the faster the years seem to zoom by. Just yesterday, we were children dreaming of snow at Christmas and our parents were bracing for the vacation from school.

Balancing caregiving and holidays

We tend to be nostalgic during the holidays, maybe because becoming an adult changes the playing field. It’s our turn to make Christmas for the kids, and balancing caregiving and other responsibilities drives away the visions of sugarplums that once danced in our heads. Still, don’t give up on the magic of the holidays. Caring for a parent, spouse, or child with dementia while preparing a family celebration is hard. It’s a balancing act — and not a small one. Caregiving while planning a Thanksgiving meal or shopping for Christmas gifts is like juggling bowling balls. It is difficult and exhausting, but you don’t have to be a magician to pull it off.

Make a few changes

Alzheimer’s disease changes everything, so it shouldn’t be a surprise when plans go awry during the holidays. Caregivers never know what will happen next, but making a few changes will help in taking back some control. It may involve discarding a tradition or two:
  • Let go of perfection: Caregiving takes precedence. Unless hiring a housekeeper before a holiday celebration is affordable, adopt the mantra that good enough is good enough. The friends you’re honoring with a dinner invitation are more interested in spending time with you than with your home’s appearance.
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