In an #ElderCareChat conversation on November 7th, participants shared strategies for managing holiday stress, particularly for caregivers of seniors.
At this point, if out-of-town family members have arrived at your home for Christmas, you may need to refer to those tips to manage the tensions that naturally arise when siblings invade your space and get a clearer picture of how a parent is doing. They may have a greater appreciation for your work as the primary caregiver, or they may have their own opinions on how to do things better.
Tell them to save their constructive criticism and concerns until after the holiday season.
For now, the family should be focused on celebrating, on embracing the joy of being together. They should offer to help you, the primary caregiver, in any way they can, offering the gift of relief and respite.
Visiting family members: take notes if you must, but do your best to make spirits bright, instead of stirring up dissension. Do not rush to judgement after just a day or two of being with Mom or Dad; rather, get the full story from the primary caregiver before making an incorrect assessment.
Stay tuned for tips to ensure your senior family member (whether it’s a parent, grandparent or other relative) and his/her caregiver is comfortable during the holiday celebrations ahead.